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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Volunteer spotlight: Ted Webne, Lincoln Middle School soccer coach

Written by Josh Freedholm
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

On Monday, DC SCORES began programming for elementary and middle school students throughout the District. It would be impossible to give 1,500 students the quality programming they receive without the help of our volunteers. This month we highlight Ted Webne, who on Monday returned for his second year as a volunteer soccer coach. Ted coached last season at J.C. Nalle Elementary School and is coaching the Lincoln Middle School team on the pitch this year. Check out our interview with Ted and some photos of his first day on the field with his new team!

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit www.DCSCORES.org.

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DCS: Where are you from and where do you work?

I am from Alexandria, VA, and I work at Mary Mcleod Bethune Day Academy Public School as a Behavior Intervention Specialist.

DCS: How did you get involved with DC SCORES?

I became familiar with DC SCORES through friends and I decided that it would be the best way for me to give my time.

DCS: What do you find most interesting about DC SCORES?

DC SCORES is an ambassador for the sport that I have a passion for, in the city that I love.

DCS: Describe your experience volunteering for DC SCORES.

DC SCORES has provided me with the opportunity to help introduce the game of soccer to several first-time players in Washington, DC. I know first-hand that a commitment to soccer can lead to a lifetime of positive experiences. For this reason, I am confident in the potential for the DC SCORES program to make a difference in all of the lives of the children it serves.

DCS: What do you like to do with your free time?

When I am not coaching soccer, I am usually playing it. Otherwise, I like to hang out with friends.

DCS: Who is your favorite singer or poet?

My favorite singer is Thom Yorke or Bill Withers.

DCS: Who is your favorite athlete?

My favorite athlete is "Number 18, Nate Burkey, striker for the Azkals.” Nate and I played at T.C. Williams High School together. He currently plays for the Philippine National team and Ceres FC. Through his committed service to under-served communities in Manila, Nate is also able to live out his passion for bringing the game to those who might not otherwise get the opportunity to play.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Welcome to the 20th fall season of DC SCORES




The countdown is finally over!

After 47 days of highlighting each of our program schools across Washington, DC, the season starts this afternoon. When the school bell lets out, 1,500 DC youth will take to the soccer field and receive their personal poetry notebooks.

DC SCORES will begin.

But what, exactly, does the fall DC SCORES season entail? Who runs it? And how often are youth engaged? As everything begins today, here is an overview:

Youth Engaged
We serve 1,500 youth in 29 elementary and 18 DC public and public charter schools. An average "team" at each school has 32 students with an equal gender split. View a list of our schools HERE.

Who coaches?
DC SCORES hires four coaches -- two soccer and two writing -- at each school. The large majority of our coaches are also teachers at the schools, strengthening school-day relationships with students by working with them after school.

How often is programming?
Our elementary schools have programming five days a week. On two days, the students learn soccer skills through practices. On two days, they are in the classroom learning how to express themselves through poetry. And on Thursdays, students participate in game days where a school plays a girls game followed by a boys game against another school. Game days are great for many reasons, including schools visiting neighborhoods they're unfamiliar with and the great community support from families and others.

Our middle schools have programming three days a week, but the same number of hours as elementary schools. In a block scheduling format, schools have both soccer and writing two days a week and then game days on Fridays.



What is taught?
Our coaches are trained to take students through a very specific, comprehensive curriculum for both soccer and writing that includes academic enrichment modules and readily usable soccer practice plans. Above all, coaches instill the core values of Teamwork, Leadership and Commitment in students while also stressing sportsmanship on the soccer field.

What special events are there?
Oct. 25, Fall Frenzy, Trinity University -- Fall Frenzy is our large fall outdoor event for all 800 of our elementary school students. Schools play a round-robin soccer tournament and also engage in myriad fun activities including facepainting, arts and crafts, relay races and more. It's a family-centered event and everyone is welcome.

Nov. 25, Capital Cup, Bell High School -- The Capital Cup is our middle school soccer championships event, with the girls title game followed by the boys game. It is a great afternoon for seeing how much DC SCORES teams have developed during the fall season.

Dec. 3-4, Poetry Slam! -- The Poetry Slam! is the culminating event of the fall season and an absolute must-attend for anyone who's a fan of DC SCORES. The two-night event showcases the original poems of students representing all of our schools, as each team does a 5-minute performance on stage in front of capacity crowds.



How do I get involved?
Great question! There are many ways to be a part of our team this fall:
  • Volunteer: Refs are needed for our elementary school soccer games (minimal experience needed). We're also looking for assistant coaches who have an afternoon a week open. Additionally, volunteering at Fall Frenzy is guaranteed to be a good time. For a full list of opportunities, visit our website.
  • Come to a High Five! Tour, the best way to learn about the impact of our program in one hour!
  • You can also make a real impact at anytime from anywhere by giving the gift of team.

How do I stay connected online?
There are many ways to keep up to date on all things DC SCORES with powerful stories, fun videos, and a plethora of photos:
And, of course, visit www.DCSCORES for all updated information about our program.

We look forward to having you be a part of our 20th season building teams for DC youth!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Coaches of all levels unite at Coach Kickoff, ready for DC SCORES season

Jacqui Kemp addresses roughly 100 coaches at the Kickoff.
Written by Josh Freedholm
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

This past Saturday, roughly 100 coaches convened at Capital City Public Charter School to prepare for the start of DC SCORES programming next week. When you have the highest coach attendance in DC SCORES training history, it’s hard to call the event anything but a success.

However, it was the energy in the building that made the event one to remember and a great starting point for another DC SCORES season.

Despite the early weekend wake-up call, coaches were ready and thrilled to participate in the opening icebreakers. As staff member Jacqui Kemp ran across the room getting coaches to do the wave, it became clear the event would be more than just an information session for the coaches representing 47 public and public charter elementary and middle schools spread across the District.

The day was filled with activities that got the coaches using the skills their students will be honing. As new and returning elementary school writing coaches crowded around tables with Writing Coordinator Rachel Klepper to go over this year’s curriculum -- which is long and comprehensive, by the way! -- she got them to participate in a quick round of “Poetry Poker” to teach that poetry doesn’t always need to make sense.

At each table, a dealer dealt cards of poetic phrases, giving two to each coach and placing two more group cards in the middle. Coaches then worked to create a multi-line poem using all four phrases available to them. Their passion for writing was clear as 35 coaches silently jotted out their ideas, before one coach shared his and blew us away with this outstanding poem:

“There’s no sunlight on this cold train, 
Darkness, nothing but darkness as it was going. 
but out of the darkness sprang a voice 
muffled, without void, yet plain, crisp, clean 
of a woman who could not endure without her nice, 
old, stale piece of pie.”

I was left feeling excited for the poetry this coach is going to help his team produce by the time the Poetry Slam! rolls around in December.

In the afternoon, coaches split up to participate in the first-ever leveled trainings. Through the new system, soccer and writing coaches advance to higher levels of training as they gain experience, enabling DC SCORES to implement a program that teaches coaches new skills to make their teams even stronger.

Upstairs in the steamy gymnasium, soccer coaches broke into Level One and Level Two training groups. The heat couldn’t deter the Level One coaches as they worked with Program Manager of Soccer Operations Carlos Fonseca on the fundamentals of the game. Coaches dribbled, passed, and shot their way around the room, before taking a role as students while Carlos led them through a mock practice session.

On the other side of the room, Level Two coaches focused on refining and developing their skills. Those returning coaches worked on their ball control, as well as changing their direction and speed with the ball.

“This was the most excited and engaged I have seen our coaches at one of our trainings,” Carlos said. “Having different levels of training really allowed our coaches to interact even more.”

The soccer coaches finished the day with tired legs and new ideas, while the writing coaches all convened to decorate the writing journals they will hand out to students next Monday. Speaking with some new coaches as they picked up their DC SCORES Coach shirts, I realized the role the day had played in transferring the passion of those who have been with the program for several years to those first-year coaches.

“I learned that with us encouraging poetry and writing through the children that we can become more than a sports team,” said one freshman coach.

“What really impressed me was seeing how the program positively impacts kids,” added another.

My only thought -- just wait until you get to see the program in action next week.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Who's ready for fall? Poetry Slam! jam: Jefferson Middle School



The fall 2014 DC SCORES season begins September 15!

To see images representing all 47 of our program schools, follow us on Instagram @dc_scores for a school-by-school countdown until Opening Day.

On this blog, each week day leading up to the season we'll highlight a school's Poetry Slam! performance from 2013. Just about everyone is familiar with the soccer component of DC SCORES, but the self-expression aspect is just as important. Each fall, all of our 1,500 youth go through a three-month curriculum that culminates in every school performing original works of spoken word at our blockbuster event of the year, the Poetry Slam!.

Watch, be inspired, and mark your calendar for December 3-4, the dates of the 2014 Slam!

SCHOOL: Jefferson Middle School

BEGAN DC SCORES: 2012

STANDOUT POETRY SLAM! LINE: "Bullying is dangerous; it's time to be courageous."

Watch Jefferson above or here.

View Jefferson photos here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Who's ready for fall? Poetry Slam! jam: Thomson Elementary School



The fall 2014 DC SCORES season begins September 15!

To see images representing all 47 of our program schools, follow us on Instagram @dc_scores for a school-by-school countdown until Opening Day.

On this blog, each week day leading up to the season we'll highlight a school's Poetry Slam! performance from 2013. Just about everyone is familiar with the soccer component of DC SCORES, but the self-expression aspect is just as important. Each fall, all of our 1,500 youth go through a three-month curriculum that culminates in every school performing original works of spoken word at our blockbuster event of the year, the Poetry Slam!.

Watch, be inspired, and mark your calendar for December 3-4, the dates of the 2014 Slam!

SCHOOL: Thomson Elementary School

BEGAN DC SCORES: 2007

STANDOUT POETRY SLAM! LINE: "Poet protectors are superheroes."

Watch Thomson above or here.

View Thomson photos here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Who's ready for fall? Poetry Slam! jam: Barnard Elementary School




The fall 2014 DC SCORES season begins September 15!

To see images representing all 47 of our program schools, follow us on Instagram @dc_scores for a school-by-school countdown until Opening Day.

On this blog, each week day leading up to the season we'll highlight a school's Poetry Slam! performance from 2013. Just about everyone is familiar with the soccer component of DC SCORES, but the self-expression aspect is just as important. Each fall, all of our 1,500 youth go through a three-month curriculum that culminates in every school performing original works of spoken word at our blockbuster event of the year, the Poetry Slam!.

Watch, be inspired, and mark your calendar for December 3-4, the dates of the 2014 Slam!

SCHOOL: Barnard Elementary School

BEGAN DC SCORES: 2013

STANDOUT POETRY SLAM! LINE: "Let the sun fill the earth with its happiness."

Watch Barnard above or here.

View Barnard photos here.