Girls in Memphis chess program defy stereotypes

Girls in Memphis chess program defy stereotypes

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By ZACK MCMILLIN
The Commercial Appeal

MEMPHIS (AP) - On a recent afternoon, Stephanie Thomas stopped by the chess room at Frederick Douglass School, off Chelsea.

Jasmine, her 12-year-old daughter, is one of several girls transforming the culture at a school in one of Tennessee's most impoverished neighborhoods and challenging gender-based stereotypes some still associate with the ancient game.

Shelby County Schools' popular optional schools program has approved making chess Douglass' primary optional concentration for 2014-15, and Douglass is petitioning to become the only school in Tennessee with chess as a state-recognized academic offering.

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