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A school bus driver in Duncanville, Texas, is sharing his newfound love of chess with students, teaching them the game during his time off in an effort to connect with them and encourage them to further their education.
Donald Harris, who has been driving for Duncanville Independent School District for five years, initially began teaching the game during lunch in a high school cafeteria to one student who rides his bus, according to a story published by the school district. Harris learned the game himself just a month ago, when the student he first began teaching chess caught his attention. He told Dallas News that the student “always made eye contact with me,” so he just asked him one day if he played the game.
Soon after, Harris started teaching more students to play two or three days a week, spreading out chess boards across a table, according to the newspaper. The district’s principal, Tia Simmons, had taken a photo of him teaching his first pupil and tweeted it, which drew a significant response. He now purchases chess boards regularly for $7 and gives them to students.
Although Harris, who is also a shuttle and limousine driver, enjoys introducing newcomers to the game, he mainly does it to help students feel good about themselves. He told Dallas News that the game “keeps kids focused on education” and that “you want to give them some inspiration outside of the norm.”
Harris was interviewed in November by NBC DFW and is described as a mentor by the news source. He also posts college pennants and stickers on the bus he uses to transport Duncanville High School students.