Silver Knights has been teaching chess to kids at hundredsof schools in the DC area since 2009, instructing thousands of students on the game every week. For the last few years, they’ve also been doing an online chess club for kids, and they are currently offering a great way to get started.
Between now and Cyber Monday, November 29: Use the coupon code “cyber” when you buy one month, and get the second month free!
How does an online chess club for kids work? Read on to find out!
1. New students start with a quick assessment to figure out what level classes they should take, from Pawns (how do you play chess?) to Kings (some of the best kids in the state for their age).
Classes are offered 25 times a week before school, after school, and on Saturdays, so that you’ll definitely be able to find good (and flexible) times that work for your family. Experienced coaches keep the classes engaging, approachable, and fun for the students.
3. Join as many extras — like online tournaments (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays) and broadcast lessons (weekdays) — as you want.
4. Occasional events like tournaments with clubs from other countries, and guests like Anish Giri (picture below, the #7 player in the world and very fun!) on Wednesday, November 24, or Judit Polgar (best female chess player ever).
Winter is a perfect time to start chess, and this Cyber Monday sale is a great way to do it (think holiday gift)! A few more things to know:
Cost is $79/month.
The club is month-to-month with no long term commitment.
Start anytime and stop any time.
If you join the club, and for whatever reason it’s not the right fit, cancel in your first two weeks for a full refund.
Sign up here — and remember to use the coupon code “cyber” for your second month free!
Opera Starts with Oh! is a virtual series of live, interactive lessons created by professional opera company Opera Lafayette to introduce young audiences to the magic of opera. Led by teaching artist and professional choreographer, Tamrin Goldberg, and joined by a new guest artist for every session, Opera Starts with Oh! is perfect for families with children in pre-K and up.
Each month a different opera is explored. Families can drop in for one or sign-up for every session in the series. And, in an effort to keep the programming inclusive, it’s a pay-what-you-can model!
After the virtual live sessions, participants gain access to Play On! Activities to do at-home and off the screen to keep everyone singing, dancing, and creating.
Zélindor: King of the Fairies! (Week 2) | October 23, 11am Journey to an enchanting land with this opera-ballet filled with fairies, gnomes and muses through dance and costume design with professional costume designer Anna Kjellsdotter. Learn more and register.
Pygmalion (Week 1) | November 6, 11am Join us and special guest artist, dramaturg Peregrine Heard, as we use storytelling and sculpting to explore a love story about a sculptor’s creation that comes to life. Learn more and register.
Pygmalion (Week 2) | November 20, 11am Join us and special guest artist, dramaturg Peregrine Heard, as we use storytelling and sculpting to explore a love story about a sculptor’s creation that comes to life. Learn more and register.
Orphée et Euridice (Week 1) | December 4, 11am Journey to the underworld through music and song as we learn about how the talented musician Orpheus set out on a journey to save his love Euridice. Learn more and register.
Orphée et Euridice (Week 2) | December 18, 11am Journey to the underworld through music and song as we learn about how the talented musician Orpheus set out on a journey to save his love Euridice with special guest artist, flutist Delandria Mills. Learn more and register.
Meet Tamrin Goldberg, leading teaching artist for all sessions in this short video:
This is post is sponsored by Opera Lafayette, however, I only promote programs, places , and services that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.
[Note: This is a guest post contributed by JoAnn Hill, a DC area educator and author of the book “Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.” ]
A carousel’s connection to the Civil Rights Movement, an accidental shooting by the US army, an anti-dancing law that rivals the injustices of Footloose, world-renowned graffiti, and a science-touting statue that just might make you smarter… these lesser-known, feel-good, and bizarre stories are just waiting to be explored on and around the infamous National Mall.
Below are five fascinating stories to uncover at familiar sites on your explorations around the National Mall.Check out local DC author JoAnn Hill’s book Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure to learn more about the hidden histories below as well as to discover dozens of additional gems and off-the-beaten path locales in and around the Washington, DC area.
Carousel on the National Mall
“Round and Round: A Carousel Takes a Turn into the Civil Rights Movement”
For decades, the National Mall’s iconic carousel has been a prominent fixture on the city’s most popular strip of grassy land. The carousel, however, is much more than an exuberant ride; it also serves as a hopeful window into the Civil Rights Movement.
On August 28, 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech before a crowd of some 250,000 people during the March on Washington. On that same day, about 45 miles away outside of Baltimore, Gwynn Oak Amusement Park discontinued segregation. An 11-month-old baby named Sharon Langley was the first African American child to go on a ride there and rode the classic carousel, which was originally located in the park, along with two white children. The three children riding the carousel together exemplified King’s message of integration and racial harmony.
In 1981, the famous carousel made its way to its new home on the National Mall when a Smithsonian concessionaire purchased it, unaware of its historical significance. Seven years later, Donna and Stan Hunter purchased the special carousel and have owned and operated it ever since.
Thing to Know: Unfortunately, the Carousel is currently closed due to Covid.
Where: The Carousel is located on the National Mall: Jefferson Drive SW.
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“Oops! We Didn’t Mean to Shoot, Mr. President!”
The Lincoln Memorial is a national treasure, commemorating one of America’s most revered presidents, Abraham Lincoln.What many may be surprised to learn is that nearly 80 years ago, it was also the site of an accidental shooting by the US Army.
In 1942, as part of World War II defenses, an anti-aircraft gun was installed atop the US Department of Interior. The gun was positioned near a local bridge to protect the city against an air attack. On September 3, at 10am, a US Army soldier accidentally released a round of ammunition at the Lincoln Memorial. The accidental firing left its mark on the east side of the memorial. Bullets struck the structure’s frieze and damaged three of the 36 states’ names: Connecticut, Maryland, and Texas.
It is certainly safe to say that the Lincoln Memorial may just be the one US structure attacked by its own country.
Go and Explore:A baseball-size indentation was imprinted into the marble of the memorial’s outer wall. The gouge has been fixed before, but the patchwork has fallen out. There are no plans to refill or fix the hole.
Where: The Lincoln Memorial is located at 2 Lincoln Memorial Circle NW.
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“Leave Those Dancing Shoes at Home”
There may be a time and place to dance like no one’s watching, but dance enthusiasts should beware of adding the Jefferson Memorial to their lists of dance venues.
On May 17, 2011, a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, declared expressive dancing as prohibited inside the Jefferson Memorial. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit stated that expressive dancing “falls into the spectrum” of prohibited activities, including picketing, demonstrations, and speechmaking, at the memorial. The rules are intended to ban conduct that has the propensity to attract spectators while detracting from the dignified and ceremonious setting of the national memorial.
The court’s ruling was in response to the 2008 arrest of several individuals silently dancing to commemorate Thomas Jefferson’s 265th birthday. The dancers’ expressive performance was deemed as unlawful. The court viewed the performance as a distraction to fellow visitors, as well as an attraction to onlookers.
While some of the laws passed in our nation’s capital have caused many to scratch their heads, this one may just be among the strangest and surprising of them all.
Go and Explore:The Jefferson Memorial is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Where: The Jefferson Memorial is located at 16 E. Basin Drive SW.
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World War II Memorial
“Bald-Headed and a Little Bit of Comfort”
Wandering around the World War II Memorial evokes numerous emotions: feelings of sorrow, honor, remembrance, and respect, just to name a few. Individuals walking near the Pennsylvania pillar, however, may find themselves feeling additional emotions of surprise and bewilderment.
During World War II, various drawings of a large-nosed, bald man peering over a fence next to the words, “Kilroy was here” popped up all over the globe wherever battles were being fought. The mysterious sketches were proof that an American comrade had previously been there, providing comfort and reassurance to many anxious soldiers. The identity of the artist behind the graffiti was unknown, resulting in many to be confused by these peculiar drawings.
While the popularity surrounding ‘Kilroy was here” eventually dwindled, the widely recognized graffiti symbol can still be seen around the world, causing some to fondly remember its historical meaning and others to scratch their own heads in bemusement.
Go and Explore: The “Kilroy Was Here” graffiti sketch is located behind the golden gate next to the Pennsylvania pillar.
Where: The World War II Memorial is located at 1750 Independence Avenue SW.
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Albert Einstein Bronze Statue
“Save a Seat for Science”
Many of the capital city’s monuments ask visitors to quietly reflect when visiting, creating tranquil and sometimes even somber memorial site settings. One lesser-known monument, however, has chosen to take a quite different approach; visitors coming to pay tribute to one of the world’s most famous scientists are encouraged not only to sit on his statue, but also to climb upon it.
Standing twelve feet tall and weighing approximately four tons, a bronze statue honoring physicist Albert Einstein is situated near the southwest corner of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) grounds. In 1979, the NAS unveiled the sizable statue to commemorate the centennial of Einstein’s birthday. The famous physicist appears relaxed, leisurely sitting on a three-step bench made of white granite.
The statue’s base is characterized by a star map—a 28-foot expanse of emerald pearl granite that’s embellished with more than 2,700 metal studs representing the sun, moon, stars, planets, and other astronomical objects precisely placed by astronomers from the US Naval Observatory as they were on the centennial date.
Go and Explore:Legend has it that if you rub Einstein’s nose, some of his genius will rub off on you!
Where: The Albert Einstein Statue is located at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW.
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JoAnn Hill has lived in Washington, DC, with her husband Thalamus and dog Jackson for over 19 years. An avid traveler and foodie, JoAnn writes about their DC living and dining experiences, as well as their global travel adventures, on her blog dcglobejotters.org. Her writing has been published in BELLA Magazine, Escape Artist, and Triptipedia. JoAnn served as a DC Public Schools teacher for 17 years before co-founding Capitol Teachers, a tutoring company servicing the greater DC area. This is her first book.
Whether it’s your child’s first day of kindergarten or the start of middle school, back-to-school season can bring a range of feelings – from worry to excitement – for the entire family. This year may be more emotional as many families spent the better part of the past two school years at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s important to remember that even in the best of times, it’s normal for children to express feelings of sadness, isolation or stress,” said Tyreca Elliott, from KinderCare Learning Centers’ inclusion services team. “Learning how to address those feelings helps us build self-confidence, resilience, and independence. What’s important is the way adults respond to children’s stress. Offering comfort, reassurance, and assisting with problem solving will help children learn and grow from stress in a positive way.”
As an added bonus, Elliott said many of the most effective ways to help children learn to navigate their feelings work just as well with adults. Consider these three tips to help your children (and yourself) manage emotions during the transition back to school.
The fear of the unknown can be stressful. Children who aren’t able to clearly articulate their feelings likely won’t be able to make the connection between new, uncertain situations – like going to school and being around other people – and their feelings. Instead they may become overwhelmed by emotions, which might look like more meltdowns, clinginess or a variety of other behaviors. Talk with your children about how they feel about going back to school ahead of the first day of class. Ask questions to help them determine why they feel particular feelings when they think about school then work together to solve potential issues. That could mean finding a way to meet your children’s teachers ahead of time, whether virtually or in-person, or practicing introducing themselves to classmates.
Build a Consistent Routine
Routines can give children (and adults) a sense of security and structure, which in turn make it easier to cope with big emotions like stress and anxiety. Try to stay consistent, and if you need to make adjustments, talk them through with your children. Be sure to mention key milestones instead of times, particularly if they can’t tell time yet. Make sure your children have opportunities to ask questions about any changes to routines. They may need reassurance before they’re ready to face something new.
Create Special Family Moments
As important as routine is, it’s just as important to prioritize quality time together. That could mean a vacation or something as simple as Saturday bike rides or Sunday morning pancakes. Plan a family outing or special time together to celebrate completing the first week of school. Family rituals and celebrations can give children and adults something to look forward to. Quality time together also helps families build resiliency.
For more tips to navigate back-to-school season, visit Kindercare.com.
About KinderCare® Learning Centers
KinderCare Learning Centers is America’s largest, most accredited child care provider, serving more than 160,000 children every day at more than 1,500 centers. For more than 50 years, we’ve been creating safe, encouraging environments where kids can learn, grow, and build confidence for life. At KinderCare, hardworking families are family — regardless of needs, backgrounds, and experiences.