Best 8 of 2018

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As we get ready to bring in the new year, we want to take a moment to look back on the amazing things that happened at DC SCORES during 2018.

It was a jam-packed year with our poet-athletes at our now 69 sites. There were plenty of goals scored, hundreds of original poems written, and impactful service-learning projects that contributed to one of the best years yet in DC SCORES history.

There are definitely more than eight great moments in 2018, but here are a few standouts (in alphabetical order):

1. Alumni

Every year during spring break, DC SCORES hosts a free soccer tournament for our alumni but this year we had special guests from across the pond. City in the Community Ambassador Alex Williams, and Insights Officer for City Football Group Graham Tench, stopped by to host the Manchester City Young Leaders Coach Training for some of our alumni and coaches in preparation for the alumni tournament in March.

Two of our alumnae also had the chance to fly to England to participate in the fourth annual Manchester City Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit in June.

Throughout 2018, our fiscally sponsored project, Open Goal Project also presented more opportunities for older youth to access high-level soccer opportunities by providing elite skills camps during the summer and hosting free college ID camps for local high school students in D.C.

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2. Awards

It was no surprise to see DC SCORES Executive Director, Bethany Henderson, chosen for another prestigious award this year. After being recognized in 2017 as the Executive Director of the Year by the Washington Business Journal, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement honored our executive director with the Excellence in Chief Leadership (EXCEL) Award.

Additionally, the Catalogue for Philanthropy picked DC SCORES for inclusion in its catalogue for the fifth time as one of the best nonprofits in the DMV area.

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3. Junior SCORES

DC SCORES keeps expanding to serve more kids in DC, which includes the expansion of Junior SCORES. This program serves kids from K-2 grade get familiar with the values of DC SCORES as they get ready to participate in full programming once they enter the third grade.

This past Fall SCORES season we experienced our first full Junior SCORES season that included gamedays for our younger participants to practice their soccer skills.

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4. One Night One Goal

In early October, we celebrated One Night One Goal at Audi Field for a special evening benefitting DC SCORES!

Over 500 attendees enjoyed a VIP experience that included mixing and mingling with D.C. United players, food and drinks curated by Chef Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup, and one-of-a-kind auction items and experiences, including a private strikers clinic with D.C. United Captain Wayne Rooney.

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5. Our Words Our City

We hosted not one, but two Our Words Our City poetry showcases in early March and on Giving Tuesday in 2018. It’s no surprise to see the quality of these performances from DC SCORES poet-athletes and alumni improve time and time again as they perform all around the city at various events.

This black box theater showcase featured not only top-tier young poets, but also award-winning professional poets that work with our young artists throughout the year to help them improve their craft. You won’t want to miss the next Our Words Our City in spring 2019!

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6. Poetry Slam

In November, DC SCORES celebrated 21 years of the annual Poetry Slam with three consecutive nights filled with amazing performances from our poet-athletes. The highlight of the poetry season started off with the first ever middle school only Slam that enabled our Eastside and Westside poet-athletes to come together to showcase their original works on stage.

Congratulations to all our 2018 Poetry Slam winner!

Middle School: 1st place – Jefferson Middle School
2nd place – LaSalle-Backus Education Campus
3rd place – Lincoln Middle School
Spirit Award – Hart Middle School
Shine Award – MacFarland Middle School

Westside: 1st place – LaSalle-Backus Middle School
2nd place – Seaton Middle School
3rd place – H.D. Cooke Elementary School
Spirit Award – Imagine Hope-Lamond Public Charter School
Shine Award – Seaton Elementary School and LaSalle-Backus Education Campus

Eastside: 1st place – Burrville Elementary School
2nd place – Kimball Elementary School
3rd place – Aiton Elementary School
Spirit Award – Thomas Elementary School
Shine Award – Thomas Elementary School

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7. Section 138

D.C. United’s new home, Audi Field, has been a special place for DC SCORES since the inaugural game in July. DC SCORES Director of Creative Arts & Education, Charity Blackwell performed an amazing original poem at the stadium’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and before the very first kickoff, but there was plenty of special moments happening in the stands as well.

Thanks to our good friends the Screaming Eagles, DC SCORES poet-athletes and alumni had the opportunity to cheer on D.C. United at Audi Field all season long in Section 138. This dedicated section for poet-athletes and their families offered them the chance to support their local soccer team at every home match during the inaugural season!

8. Street Child World Cup

Last but certainly not least on our list is the participation in the Street Child World Cup. In May, nine DC SCORES alumnae had the unique opportunity to travel to Russia and represent the USA during the Street Child World Cup ahead of the men’s World Cup this past summer.

The team’s participation was made possible by the National Network for Youth. All of the girls continue to play soccer through Open Goal Project, a fiscally sponsored project of DC SCORES. They were joined in Moscow by DC SCORES staff member Lindsey Sharp and Open Goal Project coach Amir Lowery.

Girls USA Team to Street Child World Cup 2018 from Darla Bardine on Vimeo.

It’s been another busy year for DC SCORES in 2018, but more importantly, another great year where we continued working on our mission to provide kids in DC the experiences of sports, arts, service, and being part of a team. Thank you to all that have supported us during this year and we hope to team up with you again in 2019 for the kids!

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