Chess is everything: art, science and sport.
Chess contributes to academic performance. Chess makes kids smarter. It does so by teaching the following skills:
Children are taught the benefits of observing carefully and concentrating. If they don't watch what is happening, they can't respond to it, no matter how smart they are.
Children are prompted to imagine a sequence of actions before it happens. We actually strengthen the ability to visualize by training them to shift the pieces in their mind, first one, then several moves ahead.
Children are taught to think first, then act. We teach them to ask themselves "If I do this,what might happen then, and how can I respond?" Over time, chess helps develop patience and thoughtfulness.
Children are taught that they don't have to do the first thing that pops into their mind. They learn to identify alternatives and consider the pros and cons of various actions.
Children are taught to develop longer range goals and take steps toward bringing them about. They are also taught of the need to reevaluate their plans as new developments change the situation.
Children learn to evaluate the results of specific actions and sequences. Does this sequence help me or hurt me? Decisions are better when guided by logic, rather than impulse.