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Local Students Gear Up For National Chess Championship

WILMINGTON, De., (CBS) -- Villanova isn't the only Delaware Valley school with a national championship on the line.

"These national tournaments, you don't see many minority students, these are children from some of the poorest and toughest areas in the state, but they understand it's not where you're from , it's where you're trying to go," said Salome Thomas-EL , principal of Thomas A. Edison Charter School in Wilmington, DE.

The school's chess team is advancing to the National Junior High Chess Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana from April 15th to April 17th.  The team also won a national championship in 2014.

"Villanova is trying to win their second title in 30 years, we're trying to win our second title in three years," said Principal EL.

"Usually since we're from Wilmington, a lot of people would think we're not very good but then if they lower their expectations on the board, we will usually win," said 7th grade student Madalyn Yates.

The chess team traveling to Indianapolis consists of 25 students from 4th to 8th grade. EL says the team practices for hours each day.

EL says 95 percent of students from Edison live at or below the poverty level so to avoid placing a burden on parents, the school fundraises to send the team to tournaments.

If you'd like to donate, the school has a set-up a go fund me page.

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