Students from across D.C. come to John Lewis Elementary School for DC SCORES Summer Camp.
The first week of July means lots of soccer and poetry as DC SCORES Summer Camp kicks off at John Lewis Elementary School!
Every day at 1PM, students from across the District gather in the cafeteria to wait for their camp counselors. This year, DC SCORES staff and volunteers come together to form the summer camp team, led by Associate Manager Jewel Christian.
“Leading SCORES Summer Camp is always something I look forward to,” she says. “Being able to see how excited the kids are to learn and grow with one another is so rewarding.”
This year’s summer camp participants consist of rising 4th and 5th graders, some of whom play on DC SCORES teams at their home schools during the school year, while others are part of the program for the first time during the summer.
Staff members include the SCORES program coordinator team, participants from the DC SYEP program, and volunteers from the Sidwell Friends School.
Building on Basics
The first week of camp focused on building poetry skills with intensive workshops where poet-athletes were able to learn from DC SCORES staff and teaching artists.
On the final day of the poetry session, participants put on their very own poetry slam to showcase their work, hosted by former DC SCORES poetry fellow and professional spoken word artist Malachi Byrd!
This week focused on soccer, where campers develop ball skills such as passing and dribbling through practice drills and games. Campers started off the afternoon with teambuilder – a game of charades with SCORES Program Coordinator Ronald Granados – before heading out to the field to start practice.
Campers split into two teams to play a game of number passing led by Coach J, a SCORES coach at Drew Elementary School and a counselor at DC SCORES Summer Camp since 2018.
“Being a counselor this year with the kids has been exciting and engaging—it’s a lot like when I coach my regular SCORES team,” she says.
Each team member was assigned a number and had to pass the ball to the person with the next number in the sequence. After the whole team had a chance to pass, everyone raced to the middle circle to claim victory. This game was followed by Knockout, where campers focused on their ball control and dribbling skills in order to be the last one standing on the field.
Campers learn soccer skills by playing games to improve passing, dribbling, and ball handling.
“The soccer is my favorite part,” says Nancy, a 5th grader from Brightwood Elementary School, who is part of DC SCORES programming for the first time. “I like being able to play with my friends, and I’m good at soccer,” she adds.
They rounded out their soccer session with a scrimmage game and a race up the John Lewis playground jungle gym before heading indoors for the STEAM portion of the day.
DC SCORES Values at Camp
After a few hours in the sun, campers come back inside for activities focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Art is the highlight of their activity today, as campers come together to share what they know about three important DC SCORES values: teamwork, leadership, and commitment.
Campers create murals to reflect DC SCORES values.
Some campers break out the paints to finish up their poster murals from last week, while others gather around a table with Saede Eifrig, a DC SCORES Program Coordinator, as she explains their new activity for the day. She asks them to think about the three things that would make up their own crest, similar to the DC SCORES soccer ball, pencil, and shield. Campers come up with one thing to represent themselves, their team, and the world around them for their unique crests.
“It was a great way to reinforce our team and DC SCORES values of teamwork, leadership, and commitment,” says Eifrig. “I think the freedom of choice within the activity allowed each poet-athlete to find their voice and see how our individual strengths come together and contribute to the strength of the team.”