Volunteer Teaches Students Chess and Giving

Sixma Teaches Chess, Life Lessons
Posted on 02/05/2019
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. – If Chester Sixma ever doubted that he had an impact on the students he works with, last week’s regular meeting of the Jefferson County Board of Education laid them to rest. More than a dozen students, parents, and staff members came to the meeting to recognize Sixma for his volunteer work at Wright Denny Intermediate School and Charles Town Middle School.
    Karen Scott, Kiwanis advisor for the Key Kids and Builder Clubs, met Chester a little over a year ago when he went to Jefferson County Community Ministries (JCCM) needing services. Sixma became a regular volunteer and got to know Scott during her own volunteer work. 
Scott said the KKids had been offering after-school classes at JCCM on Mondays as a Safe Space for area children. JCCM Director Bob Shefner approached Scott in mid-winter and told her Sixma was a chess guru and would love to be involved with the kids. She asked Sixma if he'd like to teach chess, and his response was an enthusiastic, "YES!" Now Sixma has taught several students the game, and each week they can't wait to challenge him to show off their skills.
Sixma said it’s meant the world to him.
“It’s just great. I love the kids,” he said after the meeting on Jan. 28. Sixma said he learned to play chess in grade school and was pleased to pass that knowledge along to the students.
Wright Denny Intermediate School students Sofia Fisher, Matthew Neighbors, Will Morello, and Nathan Middleton, all spoke during the meeting. Fisher spoke about wanting to use her college money to buy “Mr. Chester”, as he’s known to the students, a home of his own. She started a go fund page for Sixma and told JCBOE members she plans to use the money to help furnish an apartment he’ll be moving into at the end of this month.

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