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Detective Cookie's Chess Club Receives Handcrafted Boards from Stafford Creek

November 15, 2016

By Tim Kelly

DOC Communications

(Tim Kelly , DOC Communications)

A decade ago, Seattle Police Detective Denise "Cookie" Bouldin was trying to find a way to get the youth in Seattle's Rainier Valley engaged. After having a charity basketball game, the youth decided they wanted to learn the game of chess.

What started as a chess tournament has become Detective Cookie's Chess Club Facebook icon, which now meets twice a week, year round, and averages 25 participants at each gathering, ranging in age from Kindergarten through middle school.

"Chess, again, is a sport, a sport of the mind. With chess you don't have to be the fastest, you don't have to be the tallest, you don't have to be the biggest," Detective Cookie says.

The IF Project co-founder and Seattle Detective Kim Bogucki suggested that Correctional Industries could help Detective Cookie by donating chess boards made from scraps of discarded wood in the furniture factory. The inmates at Stafford Creek Corrections Center (SCCC) were excited about the opportunity to help and included letters with the boards that served as inspiration for both the youth and inmates.

"It's an inspiration to me. It's going to make my day, and hopefully my life, better," said inmate Jim Densmore.

Detective Cookie's Chess Club received the boards at a celebration at the Rainier Beach Community Center in October Facebook icon. Seventh grader Quinton Scovins, a new member of the club, sums up what the game has taught him, "It's just fun, and it's satisfying knowing that you can get out of tough situations."