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Monday, September 16, 2013

As fall season begins, DC SCORES serves 1,500 youth at 42 schools in District

The wait seemed to last forever, but today, finally, another DC SCORES season is upon us.

Come 3:30 p.m., 1,500 students at 42 elementary and middle schools throughout Washington, DC, will have a team. Each student will receive a T-shirt with their school name on the back -- a shirt they'll wear every day for the next 12 weeks as a reminder of the community they're representing.

For those just learning about DC SCORES or reading this blog for the first time, here's a brief introduction to the organization and what will take place during the fall season. This video is also a great way to learn about our program.

DC SCORES' history
Julie Kennedy, a former teacher at Marie Reed Learning Center in Adams Morgan (now Marie Reed Elementary School), invented this complementary combination of activities in 1994 when she began working with a group of 15 girls with little to do after school. Kennedy learned that the team-centered relationships built on the soccer field translated into poetry workshops, and the development of teamwork and leadership prepared students to act as agents of change in their communities through service-learning projects.

DC SCORES' mission
DC SCORES builds teams through after-school programs for 1,500 low-income DC youth at 42 schools by instilling self-expression, physical fitness, and a sense of community.

DC SCORES' model
DC SCORES uses an innovative model combining poetry and spoken word (fall season), soccer (fall and spring), and service-learning (spring season). Our holistic after-school program helps DC SCORES students improve their fitness levels by playing soccer; develop their literacy skills and capacity for self-expression by writing poetry; and establish deep community connections through service projects; all while developing closer bonds with teachers and peers.

Our program follows a school-based model for after-school programming by hiring and training teachers (called our “SCORE Corps” coaches) from each school. During the fall season, students spend half their afternoons practicing soccer, half their afternoons learning how to write and perform poetry, and one day a week (beginning Sept. 26 and 27) playing another school during our Game Days.

DC SCORES calendar
We have a lot going on during the fall season. Here's a rundown of key dates:

  • Sept. 26 -- First elementary school Game Day 
  • Sept. 27 -- First middle school Game Day 
  • Oct. 26 -- Fall Frenzy, 9am-2pm, Trinity University 
  • Nov. 26 -- Capital Cup middle school championship, location TBA 
  • Dec. 4 -- Westside Poetry Slam!, location TBA 
  • Dec. 5 -- Eastside Poetry Slam!, H.D. Woodson Senior High School 
DC SCORES fun facts (a few)
  • DC SCORES is one of the largest after-school provider in Washington, DC. 
  • DC SCORES runs the only elementary and middle public school soccer leagues in Washington, DC. 
  • The Poetry Slam!, now in its 16th year, is the largest youth slam in Washington, DC. 
  • DC SCORES provides 270 minutes of physical activity for youth each week. That's six times the 45 minutes students receive during the school day. 
  • During the fall season, program participants will write 7,500 poems. 
  • At the Poetry Slam!, each school will perform two group pieces and a solo poem. 

Get involved! 
DC SCORES would not be able to continue our growth and keep alive our vision of providing a team for every child in the District lacking one if not for our wide-ranging support. Whether you can volunteer every week or at a big event, provide a pro bono service, or support DC SCORES financially, you're making an indelible impact for low-income DC youth. Thank you for being on our team. We hope to see you at a Game Day, in a classroom, or at an event in the coming months!

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