LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A local woman proves no experience is needed to make a difference in the life of a child.
After a 40-year career in customer service, Georgia Morris wanted to do more in her community.
"I've just been trying to figure out what can I do with the children, what can I do to make a difference," Morris said.
No one saw her idea coming...
"When I said I wanted to start a chess club they were like, 'Yes, okay,'" Morris said.
Morris had never played chess before. She enlisted the help of Arkansas State Chess Champion Tony Davis.
"It was very hard. I gave up," Morris said.
But, it didn't stop her.
"Then I started researching and found how good it was for the children," Morris said.
She founded a program called CPR, which stands for "Chess, Problem-Solving and Reading."
"It teaches you to focus, it teaches you critical thinking skills," Morris said.
Between 20 and 25 kids meet at Mosaic Church every Tuesday night. The program targets children ages 6 to 12.
"Like if you come, you may have a 5- or 6-year-old teaching you how to play the game," Morris said.
Soneca Medlock calls her daughter Ciera's experience in the program a dream come true.
"She made all As and 2 Bs," Medlock said.
Morris also uses the game of chess to tackle challenges kids in the 72204 community face.
"It's teaching life skills," Morris said.
McDonalds of Central Arkansas and KARK stopped by her Tuesday night teaching session not to checkmate, but to surprise her with a check, of sorts.
"Thank you. Thank you. Ah, wow!" Morris said, in shock.
Morris received a certificate along with $250 in VISA gift cards. The normally soft spoken leader was overwhelmed with gratitude.
"I am just an ordinary person," Morris said.
KARK and McDonalds Pay it 4Ward to this volunteer committed to doing the extraordinary.
"We're about to have a tournament. We need this so!" Morris said.
To learn more about the CPR Chess Program, call (501)416-5348 or email Georgia Morris at email@example.com.
CPR is also looking for others to help start a program in their church. Some things on their wish list include:
- Chess Sets and Clocks
- Demo Boards
- Snack donations
- Motivational speakers
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