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We Are Starving cover

Book Details:
  • 108 pages
  • Black & White
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
Available Formats:
  • eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)
  • Paperback
  • Hardcover
  • 978-1-5255-2098-3 eBook
  • 978-1-5255-2097-6 Paperback
  • 978-1-5255-2096-9 Hardcover

Teacher, educator, underprivileged students, inner city school, poverty, chess, Chicago

We Are Starving
The Peaceful Warrior Chess Phenomenon by Dr. Danny McDermott

There are two ways to be starving. One is to be lacking food. The other is to go without love, respect, recognition, support, and someone to care for and challenge you. When Danny McDermott came to Harriet Tubman School in Chicago as a teacher in 1994, he encountered children who were hungry for all these things. Coming from a background of teaching in privileged schools, he felt at a loss as to how to reach the students in his inner-city sixth-grade class. That is, until he reached into his own life for something that had made a difference—chess.

Supported by his principal, but ridiculed by other staff, McDermott headed to Kmart to buy 30 $3 chess sets, and the “Peaceful Warrior” chess program was born. What happened next, was miraculous. McDermott’s classroom, students, and ultimately the whole school and community were transformed. We Are Starving is the inspirational, real-life story of how a teacher transformed Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Chicago from being “just another inner-city school” to the home of a champion chess program that produced a kindergarten chess team that placed fourth in the nation and a sixth-grade team that won the Chicago city chess title three years in a row.

Author Danny McDermott was born and raised in Washington, DC during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement, which influenced how he views the world. He received his education credentials at DePaul University in Chicago and taught at two prestigious schools before becoming a teacher at Harriet Tubman School in Chicago. After his time there, he brought the magic of chess as a teaching tool to five different learning institutions as a teacher and administrator. He received his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University in Chicago. Today, McDermott lives in Chicago and continues to teach history, chess and tennis, and the life lessons that are connected to learning. Danny is proud to follow the Jesuit motto: “For the greater glory of God and for others.”


Dr. Danny McDermott
Christian Winting

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