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Thursday, December 2, 2010

14 schools deliver strong messages on DC SCORES Poetry Slam!'s first night

The students at H.D. Cooke asked the audience, “What you know about me?” And then each student provided a personal tidbit while their classmates acted it out.

Making their first Poetry Slam! appearance, the students at Shaw introduced themselves splicing English and Spanish.

Reed’s team espoused the power of teamwork; Lincoln used a skit involving a “nerd” to make the point that, hey, just be yourself; and Truesdell told the audience that “when someone scores on our goalie, we support him.”

Thomson used a recycling bin as a beat box to promote living green; Tubman looked back at its history, educating the audience about Harriet Tubman; and a pair of Oyster-Adams boys put on a show, as one rapped while the other beat on a Congo drum.

Yes, the first night of the 13th Annual DC SCORES Poetry Slam! featured a great variety of performances, as a record 14 schools took the stage at Columbia Heights Education Campus.

When the night reached its conclusion, however, only two schools could claim first place. Raymond Education Campus won the Golden Mic Trophy for elementary schools and MacFarland Middle School won the middle school trophy, capping off an incredible night and culminating the fall season for the schools representing District Wards 1, 2, 4 and 5.

When the Raymond students heard their name called, they jumped out of their first-row seats and skipped the stairs en route to the stage. They couldn’t wait to hug and kiss the trophy.

Raymond sent a powerful message with their performance, using their group poem to discourage smoking. Then a boy named Anthony, doing his first individual performance, took center stage and performed a poem called “Green.” Anthony waxed poetic about the cleanliness of the color – about green leaves, about recycling, about living a green lifestyle.

Speaking of green, that’s the color of the identical “MacFarland Soccer” T-shirts the Crusaders wore along with the rest of their soccer outfits – shorts, shin guards, cleats, the real deal.

In October, MacFarland had gotten the opportunity to write and record a song with a professional band. After that experience, MacFarland’s students took the song and made it their own, practicing diligently for a month.

Wednesday night, they showed off the finished product, performing “Pass You the Ball,” a song about their neighborhood and background. The performance was moving and left no doubt that the Crusaders would be crowned champions at the end of the night.

It was far from the only brilliant performance, though, on a night when everyone had a message to be heard. Whether it was Tubman delivering a hip-hop education verse about its namesake or Truesdell holding up a “Family” sign and letting everyone know that win or lose, they were sticking together, students’ voices were loud and clear.

Guy Lambert of WPGC-FM and Courtney Hicks of Majic 102.3 emceed the event – Hicks will be back tonight at Kelly Miller Middle School along with the poet KoM -- and DJ RBI, as he always does for DC SCORES, smoothly transitioned from one performance to the next with an array of beats.

As mentioned, it was only the first night of the Slam! Come to Kelly Miller tonight for what should be a very competitive second night, featuring 11 DC SCORES schools representing DC Wards 5, 7 and 8.

Below is the full list of winners from the 2010 Westside Poetry Slam!

Elementary schools
Raymond -- 1st place
Tubman -- 2nd place
Marie Reed -- 3rd place
Hyde -- Spirit Award
Akilae S., Tubman -- Shine Award

Middle schools
MacFarland -- 1st place
Oyster-Adams -- 2nd place
Lincoln -- Spirit Award
David S. and Kahinda F., Shaw -- Shine Award

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