One principal used out-of-the-box thinking to inspire students at his school. There are always lessons to be learned in life and children learn these lessons through their everyday life. They have to go to school, and they learn a lot more than reading and arithmetic within those walls. They also learn important social skills and how to be confident. They also learn about the way the world works and school can be a challenging place when students quickly learn that one student has more than they do.

According to Good Morning America, one principal has found something that makes everyone equal and it doesn’t matter how much money the family has or who is wearing the fancier clothes. That is the game of chess.

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Salome Thomas-El is the name of the principal at Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware. The students at the school know him as “Principal El” and he has spent more than 30 years of his life teaching all of his students about important life lessons through the game of chess. Principal El even sent out a tweet thanking the news outlet for covering his story, because he knows how important it is.

The reason he uses chess is because he sees it as an equalizer. It does not matter what you are wearing, what you had for breakfast, it is “brain against brain.” The school that Principal El caters to students who belong to low-income students. 90% of the students at the school live at or below the poverty level.

Principal El says that these students that live in poor and crime riddled areas come through his school, play chess and then go on to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and law schools.

Principal El went on to create an all-girls chess team and they have travelled all over for tournaments, and they have won several of them. The team is so successful that they have even gone up against men twice their age and won.

One of his teams even went three years without a single loss. He is using this as a way to show girls that they can do anything, and Principal El has said that there are men out there who don’t want to give girls credit for being intelligent and for being able to be a leader.

He states that when girls are able to play chess, they are able to show that intelligence doesn’t care what color you are or if you are male or female, and it sure doesn’t care how much money you have.

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Sources: Good Morning America, Twitter via @Principal_EL