Seaton Elementary Celebrates Multiculturalism: Building a more diverse and inclusive community

When you walk through the halls of Seaton Elementary School, you’ll notice that no classroom is alike. Maybe it’s the vibrant attitudes of the students sitting at their desks. Or maybe it’s the teachers eagerly standing before their students knowing that their words and actions will have a profound impact on who they will become in the next week, months, and years to come. This is the spirit of Seaton Elementary.

But on May 23, Seaton’s student body was even more upbeat than usual because it was multicultural day, an initiative DC SCORES students have been working toward since the beginning of the spring season.

In mid-March, students set their service-learning project goal to celebrate diversity within their school community by engaging in a school-wide multicultural research initiative aimed at making students, faculty and community members aware and educated about different cultures.

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To accomplish this, they first researched the aspects of a culture by gaining an understanding of tangible cultural symbols such as food, arts and ethnic clothing, to the things that were not as visible such as customs and languages. The students then made them into a culture tree that showed all of these factors. They learned that while it may be respectful to kiss both cheeks when greeting someone in Spain, this might not be received well in Thailand.

With this information, Seaton’s poet-athletes turned to their families to gain more insight into how culture plays a role in their own lives. They interviewed their parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, asking thought-provoking questions such as:

“What ethnic traditions does our family celebrate?” and “How do we practice tolerance and understanding?”

Then DC SCORES students took their interview takeaways and transformed them into activities that would take place on multicultural day.

Some activities included having each classroom pick a country to research and decorating their doors with the different things they learned about the country’s culture.

To celebrate all that was learned, a schoolwide multicultural day was held which invited teachers, students, parents and community members to share different parts of their culture through food, performances and even a celebratory parade.

Shai, 11, reflected on what she learned and said, “I think the best part about learning about different cultures means that everyone is included and they get a chance to share what makes them different from me.

“It’s also fun to try new things, and when you get others to try new things, it makes them excited to celebrate those things too.”

This is the second consecutive year that Seaton Elementary has celebrated multicultural day. Its founding falls directly in line with Seaton Elementary’s goal to promote diversity and inclusion within its community.

When speaking to her students about the impact of their service-learning project, Ms. Sontag, Seaton’s service-learning coach, said, “You guys are leaders in this school. You teach others about how to appreciate and understand different cultures even though it’s different from your own. The younger kids look up to you because of that.”

Through the multicultural day project, Seaton’s DC SCORES students reminded their school community to celebrate diversity not just on a single day but every day. The student’s service-learning project was created with the intention of celebrating all that Seaton Elementary is as a school, as students, as faculty and as impactful community members.

Mission accomplished.

SCORE Awards 2018: Honoring our Coaches and Volunteers during Teacher Appreciation Week


2018 SCORE Awards photo album

More than 70 percent of DC SCORES coaches are teachers, so what better time to celebrate the 6th annual SCORE Awards than Teacher Appreciation Week!

Every year, SCORE Awards celebrates DC SCORES coaches, teachers, and volunteers for all the hard work and dedication they put into helping make an impact for 2,500 poet-athletes.

We held the event at the D.C. United Preview Center for the second consecutive year, an idyllic outdoor setting on an impeccable spring evening.

Shortly after the reception began – the smells of fresh-out-of-the-oven Timber Pizza pies ubiquitous – past Poetry Slam! Shine Award winners and Our Words Our City performers stopped by to show off their original poetry before the awards were given out. There’s no equal for a DC SCORES party with some inspirational poetry thrown in.

This year, three coaching teams and 11 individuals received awards highlighting the impact they have made on the lives of DC SCORES participants. Each award recipient received a customized plaque and D.C. United jersey, given out by players Chris Durkin and Chris Odio-Atsem. See below for the award winners.


Teamwork Award Tubman Elementary School\ Aiton Elementary School\ Brightwood Education Campus - Elementary School

Rookie of the Year Award Justin Morgan, Truesdell Education Campus - Elementary School\ William Miller, LaSalle Backus Education Campus - Middle School\ Peter Bailey, Kimball Elementary School

Chris Richardson Community Service Award Sarah Helinek - Volunteer Referee\ Josh Freedholm - Lincoln Middle School assistant coach

Kennedy Award for Commitment Chelsea Charland, Cesar Chavez-Prep\ Coralis Moreno, Powell Elementary School

Mingo Roberts Coaching Excellence Award Liana Ponce, HD Cooke Elementary School\ Joyce Hill, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus - Elementary School

Carl Cohen Community Service Award Chris Finley, Cresa Washington DC\ Sharon Miller, Audi/Designory

This incredible event would not have been possible without our amazing sponsors and supporters including D.C. United and Volkswagen Group of America! Food and drinks were provided by Bon Appetit’s “Best Pizzeria 2017” Timber Pizza. The beautiful outdoor venue was courtesy of EDENS. The free-flowing wine was thanks to Total Wine. And the celebration continued at Cotton & Reed, which donated a portion of the night’s proceeds to DC SCORES!


There’s no doubt that the coaches and volunteers are the heart and soul that keep DC SCORES alive. Their enthusiasm and passion for improving the lives of poet-athletes is what makes this program work. SCORE Awards is just one annual celebration, but the appreciation for DC SCORES coaches and volunteers is year-round!

From DC to Geneva

IMG_3741 (1).JPG Check out the photo album from Uniyah’s trip on Flickr!

Poet-athlete Uniyah C. from Miner Elementary School had the unique opportunity to be a part of the Eleven Campaign and represent the USA. She spent a week in Geneva, Switzerland with 10 other 11-year-olds from around the world and explored the similarities and differences of their daily lives.

Uniyah’s father, Antonio, and DC SCORES Director of Writing, Charity Blackwell, joined her overseas during this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Below is a poem Charity wrote inspired by their experience in Switzerland.

Volunteer Spotlight: Henry Mader


DC SCORES has more than 500 volunteers who help make our program possible for 2,500 low-income DC kids. From assistant coaching, to tackling our big events, to providing expert services and advice, to folding newsletters in our office, to reffing weekly soccer games, to taking photos and videos, and much more, our volunteers make a difference in many ways and with varying schedules.

Today we highlight Henry Mader, he is a brand new volunteer elementary school referee that started this spring season. He has been playing soccer for over 7 years and currently attend Blyth Templeton Academy. In addition to attending school and volunteering with DC SCORES, Henry also plays center back for D.C. United’s U17 Academy. Want to get involved like Henry? Sign up to volunteer HERE.

DC SCORES poet-athlete representing the USA as part of the Eleven Campaign

This week, Uniyah C. from Miner Elementary School is in Geneva, Switzerland representing the USA as part of the Eleven Campaign.


“Eleven” is a non-profit documentary that aspires to use the power of soccer (football) to break communication barriers, celebrate diversity and create social cohesion.

The DC SCORES poet-athlete is one of 11,11-year-old kids from 11 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Greece, Japan, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and the UK.

Joining her on her journey overseas, are her father Antonio and DC SCORES Director of Writing, Charity Blackwell.

During this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Uniyah will get the opportunity to meet other 11-year-olds from different parts of the world and explore the similarities and differences of their daily lives. This unique experience will be captured in a 90-minute documentary that will show the journey of these kids meeting and training together and evolving into a team in just a matter of days.

Keep up with updates on Uniyah’s adventures in Switzerland by following our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts!

America SCOREScon brings together large network from 12 cities in U.S. and Canada


Photo album

Earlier this month, more than 60 SCORES staff and coaches from all 12 programs convened in Washington, DC, for SCORESCon 2018.

SCORESCon is always an exciting time for America SCORES staff. One attendee said about the conference, “Honestly the best part of SCORES Con is getting everyone in the network to share the unique and innovative things they are doing in their city - whether it’s a small tweak to Game Day structure or a new external partner like UpMetrics.”

SCORESCon attendees were lucky enough to meet for breakfast and breakout sessions at the historic Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives. The Sumner School is one of the earliest schools for African Americans in the District of Columbia, and SCORES staff admired the exhibits, archives and art that now adorns each room in the building.

With a full year gone by since the last SCORESCon, updates and introductions were in order. After each affiliate shared information about its activities from the previous year and an overview of what events and activities it’s running in addition to the core model, it was time for DC SCORES team building exercise expert Charity Blackwell to take the mic.

Breakout sessions were in order after all the SCORESCon attendees had dove, danced and sprinted as one team — racing to a chair in the middle of the room, laughter ubiquitous. First on the docket were discussions about best practices on coach training and collaborative resource sharing. There was also a working group taking on SCORES Cup and a conversation about financial checks and balances for small organizations. There are oh, so many things that go into running and growing a SCORES affiliate.


After a full day of sharing information, SCORES staff were ready to get outside to exercise. What better way to do that and meet new people than a 3v3 soccer tournament? Everyone made the walk north to Marie Reed Elementary School and the very field — although with a turf surface now — where SCORES started 24 years ago. Afterward, everyone enjoyed food and drinks at one of DC SCORES’ new favorite soccer-watching restaurants, Across the Pond.

Day 2 was also jam packed. SCORESCon attendees ate breakfast before listening to an expert from the Children’s National Hospital speak on sexual harassment abuse detection and prevention. Breakout sessions covering Junior SCORES — a quickly growing aspect of SCORES programming — the SCORES curricula and online and mobile fundraising tools took place before lunch. Staff members discussed cultural sensitivity training and alumni programming after another chance to network and laugh about the previous day’s soccer tournament and other activities, for which there were trophies, of course (bragging rights!).

“As an alumni of the program and someone who has invested a lot of my time in trying to build our alumni program,” said one participant, “it was great to listen to other sites’ strategies in recruiting and maintaining a strong alumni network.”

Tuesday night, SCORESCon attendees broke into teams again, mixing staff from different cities, and embarked on a scavenger hunt. The event was a highlight for a lot of staff members and a great way for out-of-towners to learn a little bit about some parts of the host city. Although the cold and wind tried to stop the fun before it started, attendees showed up with a ton of energy and had an amazing time scouring the DC streets for even more bragging rights.

This continued at the hunt’s end-point, Buffalo Billiards, where staff members earned more medals and laughter was everywhere during a game night full of pool and skeeball and ping-pong and more. In case you haven’t guessed, we at America SCORES like friendly competition. Sportsmanship, of course, was top priority.


While a Northeaster super snow storm forced a few attendees home early, the rest of the crew came into Day 3 with energy. Before we could get started, everyone had to get used to their new surroundings at the Line Hotel, a historic church building that also houses the Adams Morgan Community Center and nonprofit incubator space.

The day started with a lecture on interactive storytelling, given by the Catalog for Philanthropy’s Matt Gayer. SCORESCon attendees saved the best breakout sessions for last, launching into interactive discussions about gender equity and social media.

SCOREScon concluded with reflection. With everyone energized by the teamwork and information sharing of the last few days, staff members began to think seriously about their takeaways from the conference.

One attendee wrote, “We left the session with ideas that could have an impact on all SCORES sites as early as this fall.”

SCORESCon attendees from all 12 programs left the District with a plethora of new program and curricula ideas as well as a renewed sense of focus and energy around their program’s connection to the national America SCORES network.

We left the session with ideas that could have impact on all SCORES Sites as early as this fall.

As an alumni of the program and someone who has invested a lot of my time in trying to build our alumni program it was great to listen to other sites’ strategies in recruiting and maintaining a strong alumni network.

Honestly the best part of SCORES Con is getting everyone in the network to share the unique and innovative things they are doing in their city - whether it’s a small tweak to Game Day structure or a new external partner like UpMetrics.

Chipotle + DC SCORES is back!

Chipotle and DC SCORES are teaming up again this year to cause an effect.


On Thursday, March 22, 2018 the DMV area gets to combine their love for Chipotle and DC SCORES for their second annual fundraiser to support more than 2,500 poet-athletes at 59 sites in the District.

The task is simple. All you have to do is go to your nearest Chipotle restaurant in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area from 10:45am to 10:00pm and tell the cashier you’re supporting DC SCORES. Thanks to your purchase on Thursday, 50% of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to our organization!


DC SCORES creates neighborhood teams that give kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life. Since 1994 DC SCORES has served more than 10,000 DC school children in high-poverty neighborhoods. Each year DC SCORES provides >400,000 child-hours of programming, runs 600 soccer games, trains and supports 225 community-based coaches, and gives kids the opportunity to write and perform over 12,500 original poems and spoken word pieces. All of its programs are free. Learn more:

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