Winter programming has been a hit at Thomas Elementary for the past two years. Photo: Brian Anderson
At Neval Thomas Elementary School, DC SCORES poet-athletes are beating the cold and learning new skills by participating in DC SCORES’ winter program. Held between the organization’s fall and spring seasons, the winter program incorporates poetry and soccer while also focusing on an important component of being a well-rounded athlete: nutritional health.
Poet-athletes make trail mix as part of their first nutrition session. Photo: Brian Anderson
“Leading the nutrition portion for the first time is a rewarding experience,” says Saede Eifrig, a DC SCORES Program Coordinator who is hosting a nutrition workshop at the school. ”A lot of the older students have experience with the content from previous years, so they’re really eager to help their younger teammates.”
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 22 Thomas students gather in the gym after their school day to participate in nutrition-focused activities like making their own snacks and learning about what foods are important for a balanced diet.
Poet-athletes learned how to maintain a balanced diet using MyPlate. Photo: Brian Anderson
During their first week of the program, the poet-athletes created lists of foods that aligned with the five main food groups, including fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy. Later that week, they learned how to read a recipe and write their own for their favorite meals. The students ended the week by donning the program’s iconic DC SCORES aprons and making their own spiced trail mix with the help of their coaches and DC SCORES staff.
In addition to learning about nutrition, Thomas poet-athletes also sharpen their soccer skills during indoor practice to prepare for the spring season. During their first week of Winter SCORES, the Thomas team worked on their 1-v-1 skills by learning some new moves to beat defenders. They ended their soccer training with a team scrimmage to show off their mastery of the skills taught in the drills.
The Thomas Elementary School team practice their soccer skills in the gym. Photo: Brian Anderson
“It’s great to see how the kids have been engaged, especially with the soccer programming,” says José Granados, a DC SCORES Program Fellow who has been heading soccer activities for the winter program at Thomas for the past two years., “The Thomas team have a lot of opportunities to build on their skills before the spring season begins in March thanks to Winter SCORES”.
The students at Thomas will participate in winter programming until February 8th, when they will end the season by taking part in DC SCORES’ iconic Chopped Competition, where they will create their own dishes for a panel of judges headed by their coaches!