In the first week of February, 75 SCORES staff and coaches from 11 affiliates returned to the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives in Washington, D.C. for SCORESCon 2019.
The historic site also served as the meeting location for SCORESCon 2018; ([read the blog from last year for a blast from the past])(https://www.dcscores.org/blog/2018/03/america-scorescon-brings-together-large-network-from-12-cities-in-us-and-canada). The Sumner School, one of the earliest schools for African Americans in the District of Columbia, now holds the historical collection of the D.C. Public Schools and the official records of the D.C. State Board of Education. The exhibits, archives and art that illuminate the walls of the of the old building once again delighted the staff as they settled in for breakfast and breakout sessions on Monday and Tuesday.
SCORES staff were happy to return to the Sumner School, rekindle friendships with colleagues from around the United States and Canada, and learn about the growth of the network since they met in DC last March.
America SCORES Network President, Bethany Henderson and National Communications Manager, Owen Maguire kicked off the conference by addressing that growth. The two touched on some program highlights like Uniyah’s trip to Switzerland and our Street Child World Cup team in Russia. They also addressed national recognition from the likes of The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, Guidestar, and the Library of Congress. More importantly, they showed SCORES staff that they were part of a North American network serving more than 13,000 kids!
Bethany and Owen made way for Jana Sharp, from Sharp Insight, who delivered a presentation to all SCORES staff about Social Emotional Learning: The Why, the What, and the Role of SCORES. After soaking up all of those SEL best practices, staff split off into breakout sessions. Jana stayed to talk about the role of SEL in writing, and SEL in soccer.
In other sessions that afternoon, staff members focused on the challenges of, and solutions for, programming for teens and SCORES alumni and the strategy for network-wide communications. Afterward, SCORES staff made their way to City Tap House in Dupont Circle. They talked over the topics of the day as they enjoyed the teambuilder and dinner, sponsored by SCORE Sports.
On day two, SCORES staff were happy to welcome back a familiar face, founder of WeCoach and former SCORES staff member, Megan Bartlett.
Megan gave a presentation during breakfast about Young People, Trauma and the Role of SCORES. She stayed to deliver some breakout sessions as well, sharing her expertise on trauma-informed practices for soccer and for writing.
Other groups reflected on the Power of Poetry curriculum and SCORES Cup events. Then, staff enjoyed a panel on MLS partnerships with two senior directors from D.C. United, and a conversation on teaching artists with Charity Blackwell.
Staff members from Boston and the Bay Area led a workshop to teach others how to engage new donors and how to track and manage existing donors. One participant said, “Bernadette and Vanessa worked well together, trading off and leading the discussion. I felt like I picked up some good stuff from the topic leaders.”
On the final day, participants attended workshops to tackle Major Donors, the service-learning curriculum, and how to inclusively celebrate our participants’ success. In the afternoon, staff soaked up roundtables about the Junior SCORES program, set a gender equity policy, and how to scope corporate sponsorship proposals.
At the end of the day, the group wrapped things up with a lunch and reflection led by Bethany. During the reflection, staff members began to think seriously about their takeaways from the conference.
One attendee concluded, “SCORESCon was an amazing time. I love reuniting with the SCORES family and bringing the inspiration back home with us.”
Although an arctic blast and snowstorms gummed up the travel plans for the affiliates in the Midwest, all 75 SCORES staff made it home safe, having shared and picked up the best practices and ideas that will propel America SCORES forward in 2019.