Each DC SCORES season, fall or spring, there are several people and organizations, companies and foundations, and others who go the extra mile to help us provide such a high-quality program for an increasing number of DC youth.
Unfortunately, they can’t all be thanked in a blog post. To see our full list of supporters, visit the DC SCORES website.
However, at this time of year, we like to highlight those who made an indelible impact on DC SCORES during the recently completed season.
Let’s start with DC Stoddert Soccer. Not only did the local youth soccer organization handle the insurance for our poet-athletes and fund background checks for our coaches, as it does each season, but it also helped finance the Saturday SCORES soccer clinics that we introduced in Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8.
The Department of Parks and Recreation also contributed to the clinics, which gave students in the communities who don’t necessarily attend a SCORES school the chance to learn the game of soccer from our Athletic Director Kenny Owens and Soccer Specialist Keith Tucker.
Speaking of opportunity, we were able to continue our expansion in Ward 8, adding Garfield Elementary — the third new school in the ward in two years — thanks to the tremendous support of the American Beverage Association. ABA presented us with a big check — literally — of $50,000 at the first elementary school game day.
That wasn’t the only huge check we received. On the second night of the Poetry Slam!, longtime supporter Volkswagen Group of America, which sponsors the team at our flagship school Marie Reed Elementary, once again showed its commitment to our poet-athletes in presenting, on stage, a gigantic check for $25,000.
“With programs like DC SCORES, students develop a passion for lifelong learning,” Anna Schneider, the Volkswagen Vice President of Industry and Government Relations, told the capacity audience.
Students’ learning was enhanced throughout the fall season by poetry specialists, who came from the American Poetry Museum and provided instruction to our 27 teams leading up to the season-culminating Poetry Slam!.
Of course, putting together a performance such as ATA’s — which helped the school win its fourth consecutive Golden Mic trophy on the second night of the Slam! — takes a lot of practicing, and longtime supporter Starbucks helped the cause for all our schools by providing its space for poetry workshops.
Students were able to practice their poems in front of an audience of their peers — not to mention curious Starbucks patrons — and receive constructive criticism leading up to the big night.
Starbucks also enthusiastically supported us throughout the season by providing an activity booth at our Fall Frenzy in October and donating coffee to the Columbia Heights Cup fundraiser soccer tournament in mid-December.
And that day of soccer, which raised over $4,600 for DC SCORES, would have been impossible without the organizing skills and generosity of Alex Bearman and his volunteers from District Sports. The adult rec soccer organization ran all aspects of the tournament, including providing volunteers at each of the sites, without asking for anything in return.
Needless to say, District Sports is an invaluable partner of DC SCORES that we appreciate deeply.
Also going out of their way to help the program were a few local organizations with a passion for the work we do:
826DC, a nonprofit dedicated to helping students with their creative writing skills, ran a popular Haiku-writing booth at the Fall Frenzy and then provided several skilled and knowledgeable judges on both nights of the Poetry Slam!.
And Bartending 4 Change, an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to raising money for DC charities, chose DC SCORES as the beneficiary of a December happy hour at Ulah Bistro that raised over $750 for our poet-athletes.
Finally, for the second consecutive year, the ASCAP Songwriter Residency @ America SCORES came to a DC SCORES school and worked with students on creating a song, which the team then turned into a winning performance at the Poetry Slam!.
A year ago, it was MacFarland Middle School. This year, Shaw Middle School poet-athletes created an original work with Hip-hop artist Psalm One, recorded it in a studio, and then took what they learned to the Poetry Slam! stage to win first place for middle schools (if you haven’t seen it yet, watch the PS! highlight video featuring their song).
Overall, it was a tremendous fall season for DC SCORES, and none of it would have been possible without our supporters’ and volunteers’ passion for generously donating their time and resources to our poet-athletes’ cause.
We can’t thank you enough!