MILWAUKEE — Chess is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people. Quan Caston has a mission to teach chess to as many kids as he can in Milwaukee.
Victory in chess, as in life, requires the ability to gauge when retreat is the best path to victory, that's why Quan Caston started Art and Chess Academics. It is a way to teach this ancient game of strategy to young people in particular.
"As a young person, I spent eight years in the military and when I came out of the military, I saw a tremendous void of chess in my community with children having not only an activity, but a constructive activity", said Caston.
Chess not only improves cognitive skills, it also improves self-confidence and increases memory capacity.
"The emphasis is intergenerational literacy, so I actually teach chess, so that I can stimulate the desire to read, write and comprehend," Caston said.
For Zelda Corona, you can call it a family affair. Her husband, daughter, and grandchildren all joined her at art and chess academics for a special session.
"It was more about strategy, because I'm about thinking and trying to figure out how can I really reach out to my grandchildren to teach them something that they can take with them throughout their life," said Corona.
Her 16-year-old granddaughter Amore' says she encourages other young people to also learn the game of chess.
"I'd honestly say it's an amazing opportunity because for me, it's not just about chess, but also strategies with life," said Amore'.
Caston agrees, "There's so many nuances in chess that actually apply to everyday life, such as 'in check mate' king not being able to leave the square is also inmate when a person cannot leave their square, which is a jail cell or prison."
Manuel Corona, owner of Khepra Jewelers, said it's important to have his family here to learn as a unit and ironically, he'll also be a vendor at Juneteenth this year.
"I always went to Juneteenth when I was a kid. I use to go to Juneteenth when it was five days all week, and my business has been there since the beginning."
His other granddaughter, 6-year-old Dallas will attend her first Juneteenth this year, and she understands that the queen is the most powerful piece in the game of chess...A role she doesn't mind playing!