16 Dec Life Lessons Taught Through Chess
One definition of character may be described as strength and originality in a person’s nature. This is also the perfect fitting of Dr. Howard.
For 19 years, Dr. Howard has participated with the Boys & Girls Club Movement. Seven of these years with the Duneland Club. At 91 years of age, Dr. Howard relates well with children and has a way of teaching Club members valuable life lessons simply by playing chess with them at the Club.
“Chess is a game of skill. It teaches kids to be observant,” states Dr. Howard. “It also teaches children to stick to rules as you have to stick to rules in life. There is excitement when you play. When you win, you feel good. When you lose, you had the joy of playing, while learning a valuable lesson. Chess teaches the fundamentals of life.”
Dr. Howard notices that as kids spend more time at the Clubs they become less shy and more assertive in their leadership abilities. At the Club, they no longer stand off to the side by themselves, but slowly start to open up and make new friends.
In 1995, Dr. Howard was instrumental in opening the Anacortes Boys & Girls Club in Washington. He is one of many who realized that a safe place for kids is needed. Within a month, the Club had 100 members and continued to grow.
“Volunteering at the Club gives me the chance to interact with kids. It keeps me young,” states the vibrant 91 year old.
When asked if he always wins at chess, he firmly said no. However, several kids in the room disagreed. Dr. Howard has a way of making every child smile when they see him and he is never shy to return the favor.
“I’m very fortunate to be accepted here.”