This spring, we are following Amidon-Bowen's season highlighting their service-learning project, but also attending games and soccer practices. The Tigers are located in Southwest D.C. in Ward 6. You can follow along on all DC SCORES social media, and see game day updates by searching the hashtag #DCSGameDay
Written by Dahlia Chaudhury
Though they are a brand-new program, Amidon-Bowen Elementary School has thrived using the DC SCORES model their first year combining soccer, poetry, and service-learning.
This season is Amidon's second spring implementing the program. The Tigers became a DC SCORES school in October 2015 when D.C. United's United Soccer Club program merged with DC SCORES. The partnership melded DC SCORES’ robust curriculum and proven success with D.C. United’s name recognition and soccer resources. Because of Amidon-Bowen's close proximity to D.C. United's home in Southwest (especially to United's new stadium coming in 2018), the school and its soccer team are especially important to the club and are often chosen for fun opportunities, such as tickets to games and training from players.
There are three coaches at Amidon: Carlos Granados, soccer; Kenisha Pecot, writing; and LeeVon Floyd, soccer and writing. Amdion has soccer followed by poetry/service-learning programming on the same days, and all three coaches are very involved in both aspects and build off each other's lessons. From just my first day at the school, it was obvious that the coaches are admired by the students, and it was noticeable that all three commanded a great amount of respect, no small accomplishment after a long school day. The Amidon poet-athletes were all happy to be at practice, and there were no complaints when the session transitioned from soccer to service learning.
"Poetry allows me to interact with students that I do not have the opportunity to see and also bond and build relationships," said coach Pecot.
Coach Carlos commented to me that in just the past two years, "Some of the kids have improved academically, so when it comes to reading out loud or writing, they have (really) improved. They don't have stage fright anymore, and it just comes more naturally for them."
Amidon-Bowen has adapted extremely well to the full DC SCORES curriculum, and has quickly become a part of the school and greater community. Now, the Tigers are ready to make a difference in their school community.
Stay tuned as we document their service-learning project this spring.