'Brooklyn Castle' chess team versus Bloomberg's budget
A nationally renowned chess program at Brooklyn's I.S. 318, which has been featured in the Times and on "The Daily Show" and in a a documentary, and whose members were hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion, faces elimination in the mayor's budget proposal.
It's one of many after-school programs that could be scaled back or cut entirely if funding isn't restored.
Members of that chess team will speak to reporters before giving testimony at a budget hearing across the street from CIty Hall.
“Over the past few years, the IS 318 chess program has been hit with successive budget cuts that have scaled back the program,” said one of the teenage chess players on that team, Pobo Efekoro, in a statement. “Following the debut of [the documentary film] ‘Brooklyn Castle,’ the program has been lucky enough to receive donations from private entities and individuals – but although these donations are wonderful, the chess team may not be able to survive if the City cuts our funding this year. Everyone understands how bad our economy is, but our budget must reflect what we as society value. If these programs go, there is no doubt the future of this great city will be compromised.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version misstated where chess player Pobo Efekoro will make his remarks. He'll appear at the budget hearing, but not at the press conference beforehand.