DOWNINGTOWN, PA — As one of the 2021-22 Chester County Regional Education Services (CCRES) grant recipients, the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) received $75,000 to fund the Esports Expansion of Chester County, which included working for and with the Chester County Esports Club, Chester County Thunder as well as the Pennsylvania Scholastic Esports League (PSEL).
With this grant, students in grades 9-12 were given access to the equipment they needed to participate in clubs and tournament activities. Chester County school districts were able to develop their own esports clubs, allowing esports to grow throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
In partnership with Harrisburg University (HU) and other providers, the CCIU provided training to esports coaches across Pennsylvania to further develop frameworks for tournaments, both locally and at the state level.
Kammas Kersch, STEM services coordinator at the CCIU, explained how some of the grant money was used to help expand esports in Chester County and the surrounding areas. “The grant provided us with the chance to offer inclusive esports opportunities and remove barriers in esports. This year, the CCIU has helped grow over 200 teams in the commonwealth, with new inquiries every week,” said Kersch.
The CCRES grant has allowed the CCIU to enhance its offerings, which include various esports events throughout the county that provide students with the opportunity to cultivate their interests in esports and develop useful skills such as teamwork, communication and problem-solving. Developing these skills will empower students to excel in their future careers. Being able to work and strategize as part of a team and exhibit good sportsmanship is vital to student growth and improvement. “Events such as Esports Exploration Days show students different career paths in esports. For example, our upcoming event on August 13 will focus on coding. These events give students the knowledge and awareness of how their interests can translate into careers for the future,” said Ryan Venner, STEM innovation specialist at the CCIU.
To learn more about CCRES or its Grant Funding program, visit: www.ccres.org
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