Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us. Today, December 3, is all about supporting your favorite nonprofits. We hope, if you're reading this, that you'll consider making a difference for low-income DC youth by giving to DC SCORES.
Our 24-hour goal is simple: To provide 300 soccer uniforms — and a team — for kids in the District of Columbia who don't currently wearing one.
Our program has expanded greatly to serve 1,500 youth in all eight wards of the city. We're in 47 schools. And still, there are thousands of DC youth in elementary and middle schools throughout the city lacking the chance to pull on a uniform, put on soccer shorts, and add shinguards and socks to play soccer.
That's what your $25 gift on Giving Tuesday will provide. Every element of a soccer outfit.
Throughout the day, we'll give out High Fives — a speciality of ours — right here to everyone who provides a uniform, or three, or 10.
You can help spread the love, too, by Tweeting about your gift (mention us: @DCSCORES and use #GivingTuesday) and posting about it in our Facebook event.
Thanks for being a part of our team!
#GivingTuesday soccer uniforms (updated as given): 349!
DC SCORES High Fives list, time given
Kevin Parker, 2:36pm
Colin Finan, 1:25pm
Jacqueline Fishman, 9:57am
Maurice Gilmore, 9:06am
Robert Watkins, 12:51am
Mark Schwartz, 11:54pm
Dave Crespo, 11:43pm
Amy Elliott, 11:22pm
Margaret Johnson, 11:08pm
Megan Crotts, 10:37pm
Carlos Fonseca, 10:32pm
Anne Woodworth, 10:30pm
John Kemp, 10:18pm
Connie Lindenauer, 10:08pm
Patricia Kremers, 10:02pm
Simon Landau, 9:20pm
Oliver Read, 9:12pm
Benjamin Pulliam, 8:49pm
Michael Geffroy, 8:49pm
Jean Counts, 8:46pm
Carol Strickland, 8:22pm
Katherine Barrett, 8:05pm
Meredith Gamble, 8:03pm
Thomas Arenberg, 8:03pm
Bryan Hinkle, 7:54pm
Kathleen Burke, 7:50pm
Heidi Hochstetler, 7:43pm
Kristi Barksdale, 7:41pm
Lauren Segars, 7:41pm
Brenna Weidman, 7:40pm
Julie Anne Rogers, 6:58pm
AnnMarie Fay, 6:49pm
Qiana Martin, 6:41pm
Cheryl Yael Kiken, 6:36pm
Kathy Jacquart, 6:18pm
Rodrigo Salgado, 6:07pm
Donald Feltman, 5:59pm
Sandra Grance, 5:57pm
Angel Cintron Jr., 5:55pm
Michael Robbins, 5:42pm
Stefan Fatsis, 5:28pm
Leah Hochstetler, 5:23pm
Kathleen Glines, 4:53pm
Amanda Potter, 4:41pm
Anne Kemp Hummel, 4:39pm
Carlos Espindola, 4:13pm
Adrienne Stelmach, 4:08pm
Julia Coffman, 3:53pm
Sam Jaraiedi, 3:45pm
James Meadows II, 3:34pm
Celina Cunningham, 3:14pm
Sherman Katz, 3:03pm
Hayley and David Meadvin, 3:00pm
Robin Gebhardt, 2:54pm
Brian Yi, 2:52pm
Patrick Frey, 2:39pm
Sean Tipton, 2:20pm
Hattie Sinclair, 1:58pm
Shakeria Reed, 1:53pm
Anthony Francavilla, 1:47pm
Cristy Dean, 1:44pm
Judith Kemp, 1:38pm
Ian Kelly, 1:34pm
Zaryn Jennings, 1:30pm
Sadaf Reza, 1:29pm
Shirley Rosen, 1:23pm
James Frison, 1:15pm
Kevin Alansky, 1:02pm
Leah Corr, 1:01pm
Maria Gaona, 12:50pm
Kim Kendrick, 12:48pm
Richard Rosen, 12:44pm
Deirdre Hart, 12:26pm
Dawn Porter, 12:25pm
John Brenden Owen, 12:16pm
Ann and Christopher Teras, 12:15pm
Jessica Rosen, 12:08pm
Maria Belaval, 11:59am
Anthony Francavilla, 11:56am
David Solander, 11:51am
Jessica Trevelyan, 11:48am
Andrew Duffy, 11:43am
Cielo Contreras, 11:41am
Michael Augustin, 11:27am
Anthony Francavilla, 11:25am
Anthony Francavilla, 11:23am
Nancy Kemp, 11:21am
Elaine Akst, 11:20am
Hugh Gamble, 11:09am
Maigari Jinkiri, 11:08am
Cathleen Lutz, 11:04am
John Carmel, 10:57am
Benjamin Chrnelich, 10:43am
Eric Stern, 10:39am
Jeff Schwartz, 10:32am
Kelly Dragelin, 10:28am
Jana E. Sharp, 10:25am
Brittney Brown, 10:09am
Alice Speck, 9:54am
Mike Gula, 9:53am
John E. Reagan III, 9:50am
Paula Donahue, 9:46am
Vesta Hochstetler, 9:37am
Willard Hillegeist, 9:29am
Justin Feltman, 9:27am
Anthony Francavilla, 9:23am
Ionut Neata, 9:20am
Eric Ahearn, 9:01am
Bradford Gamble, 8:56am
Chris Richardson, 8:55am
Marisa Deline, 8:45am
Barton Bishop, 8:35am
Karen Lovitch, 8:31am
Christina Tunison, 8:28am
Adam Rubinfield, 8:26am
Lauren Labbe, 8:20am
Heather Skigen, 7:43am
David Gilles, 7:38am
Daniel Meloy, 5:50am
Richard Washington, 12:28am
Cheryl Boyce, 12:23am
Charles Polk, 12:21am
Amy Nakamoto, 12:20am
Christopher Watts, 12:19am
Sue Budin, 12:18am
Deborah Fins, 12:15am
Rafe Peterson, 12:13am
David Katz, 12:08am
Bentley Johnson, 12:07am
Paul Jackson, 12:07am
Sallie Wolf, 12:03am
Jake Lloyd, 12:00am
*NOTE: List doesn't include annonymous donors.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Tomorrow, Dec. 3, is Giving Tuesday.
DC SCORES is participating in this 24-hour online fundraising drive because of a great need that we strive to meet every day:
Youth in the District of Columbia without a sports team.
Our Giving Tuesday goal is to provide 100 soccer uniforms — and a team! — to youth in DC who don't have that outlet after the school day, to students who find themselves with nothing to do after 3pm and lacking a group of peers to positively engage with.
You, your family, your friends — anybody can make an indelible impact for a child by giving the gift of a uniform tomorrow.
Alexiana is just one of thousands of children whose life changed when she joined a DC SCORES team. Before signing up for the program at Kelly Miller Middle School, she was a shy child who was unsure of herself and didn't participate in sports.
Upon donning the red Kelly Miller uniform and the shorts and socks and shinguards, Alexiana transformed into a confident, budding leader at the school.
As she said, "Everybody tells me that I'm a great role model and that they're proud of me."
Alexiana was initially nervous to join her first sports team, but it didn't take long for her to overcome those butterflies and become an integral part of her team.
Watch this video for the full Alexiana story, and give more children like her the opportunity to wear a soccer uniform and be on a soccer team.
Provide a soccer uniform (or two!) to a student on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Come next season, they'll be proudly wearing your gift every day after school!
- WHAT: Giving Tuesday, a nationwide day to give to nonprofits
- WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 12am-11:59pm
- WHERE: Give to DC SCORES on this Razoo fundraising page
Spread the word! Mention us on Twitter @DCSCORES and use the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Join our event on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
|KIPP AIM warms up for their championship game.|
Teamwork. Leadership. Commitment.
Those are the three values indelible within each DC SCORES program throughout the District, and never were they more apparent than during the three Capital Cup middle school championship games Monday and Tuesday.
Schneeman's KIPP AIM team was overmatched by a very talented Deal team, which took a 5-0 lead early in the second half. With the wind whipping the field and the temperature dipping down to 30 degrees, the KIPP kids could have easily quit during the co-ed championship game.
Instead, they showed tremendous commitment, running full-speed ahead at every loose ball. It was as if they had unlimited energy, and their efforts paid off late in the game when they scored two goals in a one-minute span. Afterward, Schneeman and her fellow coaches couldn't have been more proud of the team as they received their runner-up trophy and medals.
|The Lincoln Middle School girls championship team.|
Instead, the Knights stayed late at their field in Columbia Heights, working on the skill that had united them and brought them within one victory of the Capital Cup championship during the fall season:
Passing the ball.
The next afternoon, playing in a rain storm, the Knights' teamwork paid off as they shared the ball and played united during a 2-0 victory over Capital City Public Charter School. When the final whistle blew, everyone ran to each other for an enormous group hug and celebration that wasn't at all dampened by the dreadful weather.
"We used to not like to pass," said eighth-grader Becky R. as she clutched her MVP trophy. "We used to just go for the goal, just go for the kick. But then coach (Charity Blackwell), and Ana and Jarmar told us that in order to make a goal, we have to pass. So we practiced that a lot."
The Knights grew as a team under the leadership of Blackwell and Ana and Jarmar, two DC SCORES Lincoln alumni who dedicated their time during the fall to being assistant coaches for the team. Their commitment helped mold a group of girls who took pride in getting their schoolwork done together, writing poetry alongside each other, and then donning the maroon Lincoln soccer uniforms and taking the field as a team.
The result was obvious on Tuesday.
"They learned what it means to have commitment," said Blackwell, who is also a DC SCORES Soccer Coordinator through the Coach Across America program. "Once they saw that everybody was showing up and that everybody had the same goal to win this, everybody was on the same page, and I think that's what brought them to this moment."
With a big smile on her rain-soaked face, Becky reveled in her championship moment.
"It feels great," she said. "It's my first time being in a championship, it's my first time winning this. I feel happy for me and my team and my coach."
|From left: DC SCORES Executive Director|
Amy Nakamoto, Larry D., Edgar A.
After taking an early 2-0 lead, Lincoln had allowed two Chavez goals late in the half to tie the game. Lewis now needed his veterans to step up and lead on the field. After all, they had been in a similar situation two years prior.
As sixth-graders, Larry and Edgar were part of Lincoln's team that overcame adversity to win a thrilling Capital Cup championship over Oyster-Adams Bilingual School.
"Hey man," Lewis reminded Larry during the intermission, "out of everybody else, you and Edgar should feel most comfortable."
It didn't take long for the boys to take Lewis' words to heart. Early in the second half, Larry settled a crossing pass in the middle of the field and pounded a left-footed shot into the upper portion of the net for a 3-2 lead. He added another goal minutes later.
Not long after that, Lewis' two leaders were holding the MVP trophy together.
"This year, it was our time to regain" the championship, Larry said afterward -- his teeth chattering as the rain continued to fall and the temperature dropped.
Lewis admitted he was skeptical at the beginning of the DC SCORES season, and the path to a championship was far from smooth. Over the course of two months, team members were disciplined for missing school assignments by being held out of games and/or practices. The result was a renewed commitment to being complete student-athletes and DC SCORES participants -- not just soccer players.
Larry and Edgar set this example throughout the season.
"This year I gave them a lot of responsibilities when it comes to manning up and just basically leading the team," Lewis said.
As they showed Tuesday, they were up to the challenge.
DC SCORES builds teams such as KIPP AIM, and Deal, and Lincoln, and Capital City, and Chavez Prep. It also builds communities.
That's why on Monday afternoon in upper northwest, a KIPP AIM parent was on the sideline -- having made the long trip across the city to watch his two children play in the cold.
That's also why on Tuesday afternoon in some of the most miserable conditions you can imagine for standing around, close to 100 former Lincoln and Chavez Prep program participants lined the sideline at Bell High School to watch and cheer on their middle school teams.
During the school day on Tuesday, Larry and Edgar and Becky and the rest of the Lincoln Knights were sitting in class when an announcement was made over the loudspeaker about the afternoon's two championship games.
"It was a huge announcement," Larry said. "Everybody started clapping."
There will undoubtedly be another announcement today at Lincoln. And, most likely, a lot of clapping and celebrating.
Monday, November 25, 2013
This month we highlight Emily Heddon, who is completing her first season coaching at Cardozo Middle School -- and chose to do it as a volunteer!
DCS: Emily, tell us about your role at Cardozo?
As an assistant soccer coach at Cardozo, I am there one practice a week and on the game days. I feel like as a former soccer player I can contribute to improving the kids’ technical skills. Because they’re middle schoolers, they are past just learning how to dribble. So I have been able to teach them different formations and more complicated skills.
DCS: Are you currently employed or a student? If so where?
Right now I am a graduate student at American University getting a Master’s in International Communications. I did my undergraduate degree at Albion College in Michigan, where I played all four years on the soccer team as the goalkeeper.
DCS: How did you get involved with DC SCORES?
I stumbled onto your website doing a Google search, and I had been looking for a way to get involved in the community. Soccer and community service was the perfect combination for me.
DCS: What do you find most interesting about DC SCORES?
The combination of the soccer and poetry. Learning physical activity and self expression are definitely useful skills and habits that can be hard to develop, and is something the kids will be able to use throughout their lives.
DCS: Describe your most enjoyable experience volunteering for DC SCORES.
Last week at practice was probably one of the best moments. The kids didn't want to go in to eat snack because they wanted to stay outside and continue practicing. I don’t think my 12-year-old self would have given up snack for more practice, so it is really cool to see how much they love the game.
DCS: What motivates you to want to volunteer?
Community service has always been a part of my life. My mom has always been service-oriented and motivated me to do the same. I also just completed an AmeriCorps year in Michigan where I was a Resource Manager. I helped people in Michigan find social services and worked to build relationships with NGOs in the area. I just moved here after finishing that and wanted to connect to the community I am now living in.
DCS: What do you like to do with your free time?
Actually, I do a lot of homework, but I also play pick-up soccer on the weekends. My older sister just moved here too so we have been hanging out.
DCS: Who is your favorite athlete?
Growing up I would have to say Steve Yzerman, who played for the Detroit Red Wings. But within the past year I have really liked watching the U.S Men’s National Soccer Team. Michael Bradley is awesome. And obviously, as a goalkeeper, I like Hope Solo.
DCS: Who is your favorite singer or poet?
I really like classic rock, so I can’t pick just one. My favorite writer is probably Ernest Hemingway.
DCS: What is your favorite food?
Ice cream and chocolate!
DC: Any other interesting information about yourself?
In college, my jobs included being a snowboard instructor in the winter and I worked on the boat in the summer.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
The game was 10 minutes over, the field cleared, but the 15-year-old kept beaming as he described his role on DC SCORES’ U-16 soccer team.
“Just the leader and the one motivating everyone,” Ordonez said. “Sometimes we might be down and you need someone to keep pushing your team, someone that has to be playing. I like doing that.”
Ordonez described for a non-Spanish speaker what he had been barking out from his defensive position late in the game as his team clung to a one-goal lead.
“I was telling them to work harder, don’t get tired, it’s the end of the game. We’re still winning, keep it up. And as you saw, we came through.”
That’s right. Despite giving up a goal in the opening 3 minutes, the team of 17 players from six to seven different schools and spanning ages 10-15 had fought back for a 3-2 victory.
The win capped off a successful fall season that even the coaches didn’t know would happen months before.
The idea was two years in the making.
Since 1994, DC SCORES has provided the opportunity for elementary and middle school students in the District to play on a soccer team. However, kids often run into a roadblock upon entering high school.
Some DC high schools don’t even have soccer teams, especially for girls. This was detailed in an Aug. 1 Washington Post article. But even schools that do have soccer teams don’t have junior varsity and freshmen teams (Wilson High School is the only exception). This leaves boys like Ordonez, who attends Bell High School, competing with 60 classmates for 15 to 20 roster spots.
This past summer, there was an opportunity to enter a team into a month-long tournament organized by the DC Office on Latino Affairs held at Bell’s field in Columbia Heights. Lewis and Landau jumped at the chance to test out the model of bringing kids together from different schools to form a team. The team played three round-robin games and a playoff game, and many of the same kids showed each time. It didn’t matter to them that they were playing with strangers. Or that they didn’t get their T-shirts until the day of the game. They relished the chance to play on an organized team.
“We did this as a trial run,” Landau said. “I don’t know how sure a lot of them were because we had no assurance about anything panning out. But it did.”
Fast forward to the second Saturday of November. It was a beautiful, sun-soaked afternoon in the Glover Park neighborhood of the District, and 17 kids of various sizes were warming up in their blue DC uniforms.
There was Ordonez, the leader of the group. And wait, emerging from the trees around her came Ariana Reyes, the only girl on the team — and she’s 10! But none of the boys complained when she entered the game. That was the case all season.
|Larry Drummer controls the ball for the U-16 team.|
The logistics weren’t easy. The team met each Saturday in Columbia Heights where most of the kids live, and the commute on public transportation to game sites throughout DC often took over an hour. Kids were making a large commitment by showing up every weekend.
But they did. And got better. And got to know each other.
Alfredo Coreas Jr., 15, said that before joining the team he didn’t like to share the ball when on the soccer field. Now?
“I pass the ball more. Now I run, give passes, start plays.”
Late in the second half of that 3-2 season-capping victory, Coreas fed a teammate a perfect pass for a shot on goal. When the goalie made a great save, Coreas gathered the rebound and pounded home the clinching goal.
“In this team for you to play, you’ve got to work as a team,” he said.
It’s an amazing feat, really. Tenth-graders share the ball with sixth-graders, who give it back. Ordonez yells out enthusiasm from the back line, and his teammates listen.
According to Landau and Lewis, team members made large strides individually and collectively during the eight-game season.
“We have a great group of kids,” Lewis said. “Those kids like each other, like being around each other, and like playing for each other.”
Added Landau: “Whether it’s a sport or life, you can sit and complain or continue to make the best of it. Some of these kids don’t go to school together. Nobody ever complained about another. It was all encouraging and working together and having fun together.
“When we first started the team, maybe people weren’t as excited as they are now. But now they are really proud and wear their jerseys with pride. We started something from scratch to where we are now.”
|The DC SCORES U-16 team.|
Now Ordonez might have the opportunity to play high school soccer as a junior next year.
That is Lewis’ and Landau’s hope — that through playing on the DC SCORES U-16 team, kids will not only improve and get the chance to be on a team but will also get noticed by high schools where they can play.
“The goal is to not only get them to play high school soccer, but also to get them into college,” Lewis said. “I see the potential from early on. One thing I feel like I’m fairly good at is after the first 5 minutes of watching a player, I know what they are good at and need to work on.”
But the ultimate goals don’t distract from the present objective, and that’s being leaders for the kids — a role both coaches relish.
It’s always a challenge to find field space for practicing. During some weeks, there are two practices. Others, there are none. But whenever Landau or Lewis asks on the team’s Facebook page — the main form of communicating with the youth — whether anyone wants to practice on a Sunday morning or Friday afternoon, the response is always overwhelmingly affirmative.
Larry Drummer, 13, is an eighth-grader who also plays on Lewis’ DC SCORES Lincoln team. But he enjoys the challenge of the competition the U-16 team faces as he gets ready for high school.
“It’s pretty good and prepares me to play better in the future with bigger, tougher guys,” he said.
Guys like Ordonez.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Fast forward to early November and a Starbucks on Capitol Hill, where one of 12 students has gotten up from their seat to read aloud a poem for peers and store patrons.
“When I went the last time, she wouldn’t share,” Klepper said afterward smiling.
Rubi isn’t the only Seaton student who has come out of their shell during the fall season — and especially at Starbucks that afternoon. One by one, each student put down their complimentary hot chocolate and strode to the middle of the upstairs room to read.
After each performance, the semicircle of students watching snapped their fingers and then answered two questions.
“What did you like about the poem?”
“Do you have any advice for next time?”
Perla C. got up and read “Recipe for Soccer.”
The next student read “Education,” a tremendous poem about the power of learning.
“That could be a solo!” Seaton writing coach Gloria Pieiro-Landing exclaimed. A student added that she liked “that when she was reading she looked up.”
When everyone was done reading and the room was full of good vibes and positive energy, Klepper asked each student to read a line from their poem combined with a movement — another form of self-expression.
“I’m a person,” a girl read while pointing at herself, “who will stand up for others!” she finished while stomping on the carpet.
“I’m a person who hates segregation,” another girl read while crossing one arm over the other and then pushing them outward.
Seaton is one of several schools that has visited a Starbucks with Klepper this fall to work on their performance technique and standing up in front of an audience. The workshops will undoubtedly help during the 16th Annual DC SCORES Poetry Slam! on Dec. 4-5 when students are tasked with reading memorized poems in front of hundreds of people.
As Seaton’s students walked out of Starbucks, they all thanked the store’s employees for hosting them and the free hot chocolates. Unbeknownst to the workers, the students had also gained something much more valuable than a beverage from the experience.
The confidence to perform in front of an audience.
“What I learned at Starbucks is that when we get to the Poetry Slam! we should not be nervous, and to memorize our poems,” fourth-grader Makiya G. said, “because if we have a book and we look down the person will not hear us.”
Starbucks is a long-time partner of DC SCORES and has hosted poetry reading workshops at its District locations for several years.