As DC SCORES has grown over the past several years -- from 20 schools, to adding middle schools in 2006, to 27 schools, then 42, and now to 60 sites, including several recreation centers that make up the first-ever DC City Soccer League -- we've expanded our reach across Washington, DC. And now we serve 2,200 kids in neighborhoods throughout the entire city -- meaning all eight wards. This fall, we'll bring to you a highlight program in each ward.
Last week, we visited Anne Beers Elementary School located in Ward 7 while they were in full swing preparing for the Poetry Slam!. Both the coaches and the students were equally dedicated to working as hard as they can to strive for the Golden Mic Trophy at the Poetry Slam! in mid-November.
This will be Beers' 19th Poetry Slam! -- every single one of them. Beers is one of the longest-running DC SCORES programs, having started in the year of our founding, 1994. Since then, there have been hundreds of game days, dozens of impactful service-learning projects, and thousands of original poems. Alumni of the program at Beers have come back to events. Many of spoken about the effect DC SCORES had on them while at the school.
Of all of the topics that the this fall's students had to choose from, the theme of Black Lives Matter resonated the most with them. Many kids wrote about the movement in their individual poems. The team then took parts of the solo poems to patch together the group piece. Coach Herras Howard called himself a "technician of some sort" because he stitched together the pieces of the students' poems to make the final product.
Each student had many thoughtful things to say about the matter, and their passion shined brightly. Not to tease the Poetry Slam! performance too much, but fifth-grader Nihjaia J. will likely play a large role. "I've been through a lot, me and my grandmother both," Nihjaia said of discrimination she's faced.
We can't wait to see all of your hard work pay off when the Poetry Slam! comes up, Beers!
WARD 7 PROGRAMS
Aiton Elementary School (1999)
Anne Beers Elementary School (1994)
Burrville Elementary School (2000)
Deanwood Recreation Center (2016)
Hillcrest Recreation Center (2016)
J.C. Nalle Elementary School (2012)
Kelly Miller Middle School (2004)
KIPP DC: KEY Academy (2013)
KIPP DC: QUEST Academy (2014)
Thomas Elementary School (2014)
BEERS FUN FACTS
Year DC SCORES started: 1994
Team mascot: Cheetahs
Uniform color: Yellow
Coaches: Soccer -- Herras Howard, Clarence Myers; Poetry -- Herras Howard, Saheter Cook
2016 service-learning project:
On working with DC SCORES:
"I've grown from teaching them and also them teaching me."
-Herras Howard, Soccer/Poetry Coach
“The power of the word is very convincing so i want to make sure that these kids are using their words properly to tell a story that will bring their emotion, energy, and message to those in the audience in a convincing manner.”
-Herras Howard, Soccer/Poetry Coach
On writing the poem for Poetry Slam!:
"It was very fun and it kept my brain keep thinking, though it made my brain hurt a little bit!"
-Sebek M., 11
An "I am" poem on the Hunter's Moon
I am graceful
I am hope and one big light
I am the guide to many hearts
I help lead to romance
I am peaceful
I shine bright in the night
I am there when it is dark
when the wind is cold and brisk I compliment the stars
I am here to lead you when it is dark and mysterious
but I am not always in sight
and it is your choice to define what I am to you
-Nihjaia J., 10
FROM THE ARCHIVES
BLOGS6.9.2014: Former program participant Kyndall Brown returns to intern for DC SCORES
12.26.2013: A parent's view: How DC SCORES boosted his daughter's confidence and improved her reading ability