America SCORES

11:05 AM Posted by Lori Calabrese

It was a slow week for This Week in Sports Books, so I thought I'd highlight an amazing program called America SCORES.

America SCORES is an afterschool soccer program that helps children ages 8 through 12 grow on and off the field. Founded by Julie Kennedy, a Washington, D.C. teacher and avid soccer player, the program requires children to use the teamwork they learn on the field to support each other as authors in the classroom. SCORES hires and trains public school teachers to be soccer and writing coaches, recruits separate teams of girls and boys, and works with schools, community partners, and parks departments to renovate and use local playing fields. The organization provides soccer activities, writing workshops, and game days on alternating afternoons weekly during fall and spring seasons. Some affiliates also offer summer and winter programs.

America SCORES has been brought to more than 6,000 youth in urban public school districts and serves 14 cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.

America SCORES has many excellent programs that employ soccer as a building block for teaching academics, social skills, and teamwork among urban youth. To play on their soccer team, students must commit to literacy workshops every other day after school. The workshops help students apply reading and writing to their life experiences, addressing and discussing their communities through poetry, which blossoms into a year-long volunteer project.

On Monday, April 20th, America SCORES poet-athletes descended on the New York Stock Exchange for the 2009 National Poetry Slam! These students were chosen to represent each of their cities from among 6,000 participants, and their performance was truly inspiring.

"The amazing potential of our SCORES poets electrified the room, and the poignancy of having the event at the NYSE reminded all who attended just how important investing in our future is." --America SCORES

Check out the video:

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