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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poetry Slam! lights up the stage at community high schools

Written by Amy Nakamoto
Executive Director

My favorite event is here. The Poetry Slam!.

There are countless reasons why this event tops the charts for me and many of our supporters … the evidence of hard, creative work put in by teams of students; the passion our writing coaches — most of whom are teachers — exude as they watch their teams come to life on stage; and the sheer numbers and volume of support by family and community members in the crowd.

Imagine a fourth grade boy performing before hundreds of community members — walking out on a vast stage to represent his current school at his neighborhood high school. A year prior, that boy might never have written a poem and certainly never recited one out loud for even his peers.

But on this night, he is a great orator conveying deep passion for a subject he’s been wrestling with for weeks. His parents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors will beam with pride amongst an audience of at least 400 guests.

He may be small in size, but his presence will fill the stage.

This boy has a lot to be proud of this particular evening, including performing on a high school stage in front of hundreds of supporters who came to celebrate him and all of DC SCORES’ poet-athletes.

The new H.D.Woodson High School.
Bell Multicultural (Ward 1) and H.D. Woodson (Ward 7) high schools are the host sites for this year’s two-night Slam!. For hundreds of DC public and public charter school students and their families, these schools will be symbols of self-expression and community. The schools will represent a place that welcomes families and celebrates students and their achievements.

Woodson in particular has long been thought of as an unfriendly building and one that needed a complete overhaul. Well, we are fortunate to be hosting the first and largest community event in the school’s brand new space on 55th Street, NE.

I can’t wait until students walk out on that stage tomorrow night and perform confidently in a school they will one day attend.

We are thrilled and thankful to have many of our foundation and corporate supporters confirmed to attend the Poetry Slam!, including Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., which is presenting us with a check on the second night of the Slam!. We’ve invited many of our Councilmembers as well as Mayor Gray to join us as a statement of investment from the District into our youth and to help usher the new H.D. Woodson into the broader community.

Lastly, to all of our donors, volunteers and board members: Please join us — you’ll have a great time!

DC SCORES Poetry Slam!
Wednesday, Nov. 30
Columbia Heights Education Campus
3101 16th Street, NW (map)

Thursday, Dec. 1
H.D. Woodson High School
540 55th Street, NE (map)

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