Bernard Mason works at Kelly Miller Middle School, one of the District's 23 schools that features DC SCORES programming. His sons, Bernard (fourth from the left in the picture) and Brian, attend the school as sixth graders and have been involved with DC SCORES first at Burrville Elementary School and now at Kelly Miller.
Mr. Mason recently chatted briefly with DC SCORES about the program and how it has impacted his sons:
How would you describe your experience or relationship with DC SCORES staff and coaches?
“I have good rapport with the coaches from the elementary school (Burrville) and the ones at Kelly Miller (Middle School).”
What is it you see in them that keeps your kids going back?
“They’re always here – Burrville always (had) the same coaches. And they work with them all the time – not just with the soccer part, but I believe the tutoring and everything else.”
Do you think it’s important that the kids see the same coaches every time they come to SCORES?
“Most of the time they should, so they can get used to one person, two people, whoever’s coaching. But it’ll build rapport between the kids and the coaches.”
What effect have you noticed that DC SCORES has on your children?
“They do a pretty good job as far as soccer. They love soccer. They always have. But my son Bernard, he did pretty good with the Poetry Slam! for DC SCORES.”
Has he always been outspoken?
“Bernard isn’t outspoken at all! (laughing). That’s why I said he did a great job with his poetry.”
What’s important about your children participating in DC SCORES?
“It gives them an opportunity to learn another sport like soccer other than just playing basketball or regular tackle football. They can learn something different and they can put it to use. And it’s good for them to make friendships with other kids from different schools where they travel to, to play the kids, as well as the other kids coming here because most of the time (teams) come to Kelly Miller. It’s pretty good for them to meet different kids from different areas.”
And as a parent who works with DCPS, how does that help in your relationship with after-school programs and students? How does that help you work with the people from DC SCORES?
"(The coaches are) pretty good. They come in the (school) building and they always speak to everybody. They come in, they speak to everyone and they’ve got a pretty good relationship with everybody in the building"
Do you think if parents saw after-school coordinators in the school during school hours -- like when we come out during lunch time -- it would help them understand who we are and what we’re trying accomplish?
“A lot of times the parents don’t see the people who work after school and they only see them during their programs or games or whatever event they’ve got going on. But if they’re in the building (during school), then they get a chance to meet them, because most of the time if the parents have to come up to the school, it’s during the day-time hours.”
-- Written by Sherie Billingslea, Middle School Program Coordinator