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Monday, November 7, 2016

DC SCORES covers DC: Imagine Hope Tolson, Ward 5

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 went to Imagine Hope Community Charter School, Tolson Campus in Ward 5. Not only did we visit during a session of poetry programming, we also spent some time with them at Fall Frenzy and attended a special poetry workshop at DC SCORES partner Busboys and Poets! In every encounter we had with the group, each student was dedicated to working hard, while also learning and having fun. This is due in part to the incredible job that the Imagine Hope coaches do; they have made a huge impact upon these students.

Throughout soccer practice, the coaches advise their students to work constructively on the field while practicing strong sportsmanship. During poetry sessions, the coaches inspire the students to be creative and express themselves in whatever way works for them. No matter the setting, the coaches find a way to incorporate fun into the lesson! Rock-paper-scissors games are popular at Imagine Hope, too.

Imagine Hope Community Charter School — Tolson Campus (2013)
Taft Recreation Center (2015)
Turkey Thicket Recreation Center — Elementary (2015)
Turkey Thicket Recreation Center — Middle (2015)

Year DC SCORES started: 2013
Ward: 5
Team mascot: Soaring Eagles
Uniform color: Green
Coaches: Soccer -- Jerome Clemons, Cyriacus Igwilo; Poetry -- Jerome Clemons, Karen Burton, Ebony Smith
2016 service-learning project: Imagine Hope cleaned up their neighborhood and partnered with the Special Olympics to plant a school garden on their blacktop using old water jugs filled with soil.

“The students have become important to me. It’s not just only my team, I keep up with their grades. I make sure that they’re still doing what they need to do in class at all times. I’m not just their coach and adviser. To me, I feel like I’m more of a mentor to them. The students come to me. They come to me for advice, they come to me if they get in trouble. I help sooth the students most of the time. DC SCORES poetry and coaching is beyond coaching. It’s a mentor program to me.” - Karen Burton, Poetry Coach

“For me, the things that I try to instill as a coach are one, they know that my biggest rule is having fun and we’re always here to have fun. Two, we’re here to work as a team, and three, you’re here to try your best and work your hardest. Those are the things that I want out of them in both poetry and in soccer.” - Coach Clemons, Soccer/poetry coach

"What I've learned from DC SCORES is that when you fall you have to get up and be brave, get back in the game." -Ajyah F., 8

"We are learning how to be confident and be brave to not be scared when you are at the Poetry Slam! and you are at the mic on stage in front of a lot of people." -Michael M., 10



5.30.2016: Imagine Hope creates school garden out of recycled soda bottles
5.4.2015: National Poetry SLAM! Diary -- three days in New York City 
4.3.2015: Going to the America SCORES National Poetry SLAM -- meet Leron
11.19.2013: Inside the Notebook, Part VI at Imagine Hope: Jerome Clemons embraces role of coach


12.5.2013: Imagine Hope performs at Poetry Slam!

4.2014: Skky performs at America SCORES National Poetry SLAM!

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