expr:class'"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Inside Bancroft Elementary, Part I: Introductions all around

This fall, Anthony Palmer, a Gettysburg College junior spending the semester studying at American University, is volunteering for DC SCORES by spending each Monday afternoon with the poet-athletes at Bancroft Elementary School as they write poetry and prepare for the season-ending Poetry Slam! and play soccer.

“Using a camera and a notebook to tell their stories, I hope to give you an inside look at the hard work the students, coaches and teachers at Bancroft Elementary are doing on a daily basis to work toward DC SCORES' goals of ‘self-expression, physical fitness, and a sense of community,’” Anthony says.

Each week for the remainder of the season, Anthony will write about his experience in this space. Read his weekly posts for an inside look into the DC SCORES elementary school experience.

See pictures from Anthony's trips to Bancroft on Flickr


I walked in the door to the classroom and was greeted by smiling students who already knew my name.

"Anthony, take a picture of my jersey!" one student excitedly yelled.

I introduced myself to the class and took a seat. This was my first time meeting all of the students. I had attended the previous weekend's Fall Frenzy celebration, and the students were eager to see the photos and video I shot of them in action on the soccer field.

"Are we going to be on YouTube?!" a few students jokingly yelled.

Then we went around the room as the students introduced themselves and told everyone their favorite part of the Fall Frenzy.

Patrick, a fourth-grader, said his favorite part of the weekend was "playing against other teams."

"I liked meeting people from summer school and from other schools," said Jasmine, a fifth-grader.

Anna was most proud of the team’s success on the field. "We won almost every game," she said.

And Alejandro fondly recalled the postgame grub. "I liked the macaroni and cheese!" he said.

After introductions, the class broke up into groups and practiced writing Haikus. The students wrote about soccer and poetry, and before long the excitement was building for a soccer game outside.

After the group writing session, the students began packing up their notebooks, and Ronald pointed to the name on the back of his Barcelona soccer jersey. "Messi," it read.

Ronald, wearing the No. 10 jersey, then began comparing an array of statistics on his favorite professional team with Misaeo, a proud supporter of Real Madrid.

I wish I knew what all the statistics meant. If I learned one thing on my first day at Bancroft, it's that these bright fourth and fifth grade soccer/poetry enthusiasts know more about social media and sports than I do — two areas supposed to be a lock for college students.

We all headed to the cafeteria for a pregame snack, and before long we hit the field for a soccer game where there was only one rule: Five passes before you can score.

The Bancroft students are preparing for a poetry performance at a local Starbucks in the next week. The focus on teamwork, writing and public speaking that I have seen on my first day shows me that the students of Bancroft will be well prepared.

No comments:

Post a Comment