PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a morning of “rooks” and “pawns” as students at a North Philadelphia elementary school challenged police officers from the 22nd district to a chess tournament.
The event was part of a new outreach program started by the Irish Pub Childrens’ Foundation.
Members of the St. Marin de Porres chess club hunched over chess boards, deep in thought as they tried to defeat their police officer opponents.
Eleven-year-old 6th grader, Joelle, felt good about his win.
“I never beat someone at how I beat him before, cause it was kind of like a challenge.”
In addition to boosting kids’ confidence, Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan says the program boosts trust.
“By having positive interactions here, in a chess match, will someday, I have no doubt, lead to positive interactions between these officers and these children in their own neighborhoods.”
He says it’s also a way for the mostly rookie cops to get to know the people they’re serving. Officer Roger McFadden says these kids are no pushovers.
“I try my best. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t.”