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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.

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“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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Win-win.

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: www.DCSCORES.org

Giving back to the community during spring SCORES!

Today DC SCORES kicks off another spring SCORES season for our poet-athletes! Not only do poet-athletes get to step onto the soccer field again for practices and gamedays, but they also get the opportunity to continue building on the teamwork formed during the fall season to give back to their community.

During the next 12 weeks, more than 2,500 students in all eight wards in DC will participate in soccer and service-learning projects. DC SCORES’ poet-athletes learn the core values of Teamwork, Leadership, and Commitment with an emphasis, too, on the importance of sportsmanship.

DC SCORES runs the only consistent public soccer leagues for both elementary and middle school youth in DC. Each team practices twice a week and game days are on Thursdays for elementary schools and Fridays for middle schools.

During our spring season, kids at each site work together to identify and then research an issue in their school community, and then address it with a service-learning plan. Projects in the past have ranged from neighborhood and school cleanups, to awareness campaigns, to raising money for the homeless, and much more!

Program Schedule
Elementary schools have programming five days a week. Two days a week are designated for soccer practices and two days for service-learning. Each Thursday, poet-athletes participate in game days, where schools play against other schools in separate girls and boys soccer games.

Middle schools have programming three days a week, but have the same amount of program hours as elementary schools. In a block scheduling format, middle schools have both soccer and service-learning two days a week and game days on Fridays. We have girls, boys and a co-ed league for middle schools.

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Special Events
Jamboree!, June 2 at Anacostia Park - Jamboree! is the culminating event of the DC SCORES programming year, filled with soccer games, arts and crafts, and more for DC SCORES students and their families.

How do I get involved?
There are many ways to be a part of our team this spring:

  • Volunteer Opportunities:

    • Become a referee: DC SCORES’ soccer leagues are recreational and small sided (8v8) with an emphasis on sportsmanship and learning.

    • Help out during Jamboree!: Email lsharp@dcscores.org

Celebrating "America SCORES Winter Sports Day!"

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In the State of Qatar, National Sport Day is celebrated on the second Tuesday of February. This day is celebrated by encouraging everyone to participate in sporting activities with family and friends.

This is the third year DC SCORES celebrated the day by hosting “Winter Sports Day” for schools that participate in winter SCORES programming. What set this year apart is that two other America SCORES affiliates participated as well in New York City and Los Angeles! Here’s a recap of the events in the three cities.

Volunteer spotlight: Laurie Gonzalez

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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.

7 stories from a memorable 2017

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Wow, what a year! 2017 was the year of special events for DC SCORES. From a communications perspective, it was almost hard to keep track of all the spaces we represented in, the performances our kids put on, and the soccer exhibitions we participated in.

But an afternoon at any of our 59 sites from NW DC to SE or from SW to NE reminded us that DC SCORES core programming remains the heart of what we do — giving kids a team, on the soccer field and in the classroom, and a safe space every day after school.

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