This fall SCORES season, I had the pleasure of following the Brightwood Panthers on their poetry journey. All of these poet-athletes are full of bright ideas and storytelling abilities – and it showed in their Poetry Slam performance.
Before going on stage, the kids were visibly nervous but definitely excited. They got even more excited when I pointed out that Marquell, the poetry specialist that had worked with them, was sitting front row. The Panthers were ready to show the crowd what they had been working on over the fall season and especially the last couple of weeks.
Right before they walked on stage Ms. Andrews, Ms. Serrano, and I gave the Panthers some last-minute words of encouragement to try to alleviate any nervousness they had. All three poems they wrote and performed discussed the idea of friendship and how DC SCORES has positively impacted their lives.
The kids got on stage and performed all the poems just like they had practiced for weeks and weeks beforehand. Everyone was able to be heard and they all demonstrated confidence in their performance as they exited the stage. The enthusiastic smiles the Panthers had on their faces as they returned back to their seats showed how happy they were with their performance and they continued to show a great deal of sportsmanship to all of the teams performing that night.
Overall, I had an amazing experience watching Brightwood create their poems for this year’s Westside Poetry Slam. It was clear that DC SCORES has really helped and allowed them to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment thanks to their wonderful coaches. This is the reason every kid was able to contribute and help the team in their own unique way.
I cannot wait to see what these kids come up with next in the upcoming years! Go Panthers!