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Welcome to the CYO Chess Program

The CYO Chess program has been a welcome addition to the CYO. Schools and parishes have welcomed the program and witnessed positive experiences in their communities. Below you will find information on how to start a chess program in your school or parish community. But here are a what people are saying about the chess program.

Meet our Partner:

Chess at Three

The Authority in Early Childhood Chess 


Chess at Three is the only chess program in the world that teaches children as young as three how to play and, more importantly, fall in love with chess. Chess at Three currently teaches over 14,000 children per week in 28 states across the country. We are able to teach children at the astonishing age of two because our approach is so unique. Classes and lessons are based around the patented Chess at Three curriculum, utilizing interactive stories that star a fun cast of characters. Through these stories, children progressively learn to play and develop a love for chess.

Our Certified and Trained Storytellers (tutors) will provide all the materials necessary for your child to participate in the class and no additional purchase is required to attend. We also offer chess tournaments for children in our program to put their new chess knowledge to the test. 


Why CYO Chess?

  • Chess has been proven to increase critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Chess is the ultimate mental sport - it enhances one's ability to interact with other people and tests sportsmanship in a competitive environment.
  • It shows that hard work is rewarded by success. The more effort one puts into chess, the higher the success rate. Chess shows that one learns from their mistakes. 
  • Chess is a test of patience, nerves, will power and concentration
  • Every match begins with a handshake and ends with a handshake, teaching sportsmanship and respect in victory or defeat. 

How to Start a CYO Chess Program:

1) Review the below Information for the following:

  • Eligibility
  • Fees & payment
  • Assigning Coaches to your program
  • What to Expect

2) contact Seth Peloso to to confirm you interest. We will then place Chess Coaches at your school based on the needs of your school community you indicated.


  • ANy school or parish looking to add new offerings in their community. 
  • Age groups can range from K - 8. It is recommended to try and form groups of children in grades K - 4 and 5 - 8, so the class can be structured for the appropraite ages. 

Fee Structure:

  • The cost for 1-hour instructional classes & play will be $10 per student/per session.

    Schools often set up between 8 – 12 sessions per school semester.
    *a minimum of 15 participants is needed to hold a class.
    **CYO will subsidize a portion of the initial cost of the starter chess sets up to 10 sets.

Payment Structure:

Option 1: School will be billed accordingly based on number of sessions and number of students.

Option 2: Schools may collect individual payments made out to CYO and submit prior to the start of the first scheduled session.
See sample registration form provided for your convenience. Feel free to use for your convenience.

All Payments can be made out to “CYO”. Please indicate Chess in the Memo section of the check. Mail to the attention of:

Catholic Youth Organization
Seth Peloso
1011 First Avenue, 6th FL
New York, NY 10022

Assigning Coaches to your program

Once you are ready to promote in your community, you will be put in contact with our partner to determine the schedule for your program. Be ready to discuss:

  1. The day(s) of the week for instructors to attend.
  2. Time of day
  3. Age range of students



What To Expect:

  • Every Chess At Three lesson has a fun story that introduces children to important themes that go far beyond chess. Chess At Three students learn about sportsmanship, grit, and math, all through stories.
  • Supervised play, where students will practice what they learned in class

What they are saying about CYO Chess

“Our Lady of Good Counsel School (Staten Island) began a Chess Program in 2013-2014!  With 30 eager students...beginners and good players ... and the encouragement and support of 2 wonderful dedicated chess coaches ( provided to us by the CYO) our team became CHAMPS!  Our students learned Chess, team work and had GREAT FUN!  Start a Chess program in your school...and see what happens!!!” 

Mrs. Fran Santangelo, Principal


“The CYO Chess Club was wonderful, the instructor was wonderful with the children. the easiest program to set up. the only things I needed to do to was inform the parents and collect payment. Great program I highly recommend.”

Josephine Fanelli, Principal
St.Theresa School (bronx)


“The CYO Chess program fills a void and engages a subset of our youth who may not be interested in athletic programs”

John Mueller, Parish Coordinator
Holy Innocents (Westchester)