|Mr. Clemons instructs his DC SCORES students.|
-- Brady Smithsund, Fall 2013 Intern
As I approached the nondescript building of Imagine Hope Community Charter School -- Tolson Campus for the first time, I had no idea what I would face. I walked in the front door and upon receiving directions, climbed stairs to a classroom on the second floor. Before I even got close to the room, I could hear the collective chant of a group of elementary school kids.
“If I work hard enough, I can do anything!” screamed the kids. A couple boys in the back dropped beats on the table, banging their hands like they were kick drums, snares and hi-hats. The chant repeated again and again, getting louder each time.
From the moment I walked in the door and witnessed this, I could feel the energy radiating from these kids. Even after a long day at school, they were stoked to still be in a classroom, learning poetry until late in the afternoon.
Never before had I seen kids who were so excited to learn material that was completely voluntary.
|Creating an acrostic poem!|
Wondering who I was, the kids asked me a couple questions but then quickly accepted me into their community. Now one of them, I watched as the students wrote their first ever acrostic poems, using the word SCORES as the template. They then voted to decide which words they wanted to use from their brainstormed list. Using words like success, creative, outstanding, and respect, the poem was formed. The kids stood back to admire their hard work.
The hour gone, it was time for the kids to go home. High-fiving Mr. Clemons and me, they ran out of the room with big smiles on their faces, excited about what they just learned.
One stopped and asked me, “Will you be here next week?”
Yes, yes I will.