Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking believes in creative Corporate Social Investments, as reflected in our sponsoring of the Chesskids Academy and the Spell It initiative.
Because we believe in empowering the youth by developing their minds and reasoning skills, Nedbank has chosen to sponsor the ChessKids Academy and the Spell It initiative.
Mentoring kids in chess and life
The Nedbank Chesskids Academy teaches children in Grade 6 and 7 to play chess, thereby making a meaningful difference to their education and social development.
Nedbank's involvement with the Chesskids Academy began in 2008 when we went in search of a CSI initiative that would:
Founded by Colleen Brown from the United States and Roger Dickinson, project director of the academy here in South Africa, the Chesskids Academy is based on a successful United Kingdom model developed by Richard James. The South African version has been specially adapted to be both relevant and accessible to South African youth – particularly orphaned and vulnerable children and kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Objectives of the sponsorship
Why the game of chess?
There is a wealth of research substantiating the positive effects of chess on learning and development, particularly when it's played from a young age.
What are the benefits of playing chess for kids?
Cognitive and intellectual benefits
Nedbank's support of the Spell It initiative emanated from our involvement with the Chesskids Academy. It was found that learners were inhibited by poor literacy when writing the chess tests.
Spell It aims to support the education system by partnering with the Gauteng Department of Education at primary school level to ensure each learner has the opportunity to achieve a good level of English literacy by the time they graduate to high school. It also aims to build excitement and momentum around learning and academic achievement.
The programme targets Grade 5 learners, currently in 65 primary schools in the southern suburbs of Johannesburg, Soweto, Lenasia and Eldorado Park.
The programme consists of two components: the vocabulary assistance programme (VAP) and spelling bees. VAP is a step-by-step, fun series of card games that help learners build on their existing knowledge while brushing up on the fundamentals of phonetics, spelling rules, word structures and the origin of English words.
Spelling coaches are provided to the schools to assist learners and teachers with the programme.
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