[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 90 (Wednesday, June 8, 2016)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E859]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. DANNY K. DAVIS

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 8, 2016

  Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to 
recognize the outstanding efforts of the Charles W. Earle STEM 
Elementary School's Chess Team.
  Earle STEM Elementary School is among the top elementary school chess 
teams in Chicago. Considering this small school is located in a crime-
prone area in the Englewood neighborhood of my Congressional District, 
I am very pleased of the involvement and leadership of chess Coach 
Joseph M. Ocol and the many leaders at the school. I would like to 
acknowledge the contributions of the Earle STEM School Principal, 
Cederall Petties, and Assistant Principal Elwanda Butler, along with 
the help Network 11 Chief Megan Hougard, the families and parents in 
the Local School Council Community headed by Darlene O'Banner.
  On Sunday, April 24th, 2016, the all-girls chess team of Earle STEM 
Elementary School won 1st Place in the 2016 All-Girls National Chess 
Tournament. Out of 65 schools and 450 female students from all over the 
USA, only four CPS schools qualified to form an all-girl, grade sixth 
to eighth, chess team to compete in this biggest all-girl national 
chess tournament in the USA. The Earle STEM all-girls chess team was 
one of only two all-African American girls' chess team in that 2016 
All-Girls National Chess Toumament.
  Another notable victory for the Earle STEM Chess Team, composed this 
time of boys and girls from grades fourth to eighth, took place at the 
2016 National Junior High School Championship where they won the 5th 
Place Trophy. This tournament was held at Marriott Hotel in 
Indianapolis, Indiana, April 15 to 17. With more than a hundred schools 
and about 2,000 students from all over the country competing, this is 
considered the biggest junior high school chess tournament in the USA.
  Six months into the 2015-2016 academic year, and during its initial 
year as a chess team, the Earle STEM Elementary School Chess Team 
garnered five 1st Place team trophies, including a 4th Place trophy in 
the State of Illinois chess championship, and a 3rd Place Chicago 
Public Schools academic chess trophy.
  At its inception, the Earle STEM Elementary School Chess Team members 
started mentoring one another on the rudiments of chess then advanced 
the mentoring program from Grade 8 to the kindergarten program. 
Allowing the 40 students of the chess and math club the capacity to 
participate after school and on Saturdays; the Earle STEM mentoring 
program has been effective in getting kids to mentor one another whilst 
competing against each other. This provides the most economical way of 
mastering skills and yet offering opportunities for students to be 
productive after school instead of being in the streets.
  In closing, the Charles W. Earle STEM Elementary School's Chess Team 
is a prime example of students excelling beyond their environment and 
striving for excellence. Congratulations to the children of Earle Stem: 
Joshua Johnson, Erik Tolbert, Brandon Burgess, Taahir Levi, Tamaya 
Fultz, Breanna Shaw, Gavin Harry, Semaj Lowe, Xavier Rosado, Angelique 
Wilson, Monique Williams, Gelita Woodlow, Devion Dukes, Tyrone Dellar 
and Shawn Palmer. I am proud to acknowledge the school and these 
students for their achievements and I look forward to hearing about 
their great works for years to come.