Uniting with DC SCORES on childhood development and being awesome

One of the benefits of writing a blog that reaches thousands of readers is getting invited to partner with and help promote truly worthwhile organizations and share the good work they do. I'm really excited to say that Petworth News is partnering with DC SCORES, a non-profit that runs after-school programs at public schools around the city (and here in Petworth). 

DC SCORES is a great organization that tackles the many very real impacts that a life of poverty has on a child, from a lack of extracurricular enrichment, a lack of adult mentors and a lack of fitness opportunities, and offers kids an innovative program that combines soccer, poetry and creative expression with service-learning during the after-school hours. 

Soccer, poetry and community-based service — free for all participants at 50 sites around the city. DC SCORES kids play in the only organized soccer league for DC middle schools. When they’re not playing soccer, they’re learning self-confidence through self-expression: last year DC SCORES kids wrote more than 14,000 original poems. Seriously, how cool is that?

In our area, participating Petworth schools include Truesdell Education Campus, Barnard Elementary School and Powell Elementary School

Powell DC Scores students at the 2014 Poetry Slam

Powell DC Scores students at the 2014 Poetry Slam

My goal with the partnership is to share with you the amazing things our neighborhood kids in the program achieve — ‘cause it’s not about DC SCORES, it’s about the 2,000 kids they work with every day. 

DC SCORES has changed the lives of more than 9,000 DC children since 1994. They have 12 employees — the rest are volunteers, primarily teachers at the schools, who coach soccer and poetry and create long-lasting trust and tight bonds between kids and adults — and that translates to the school day and better relationships at schools.

There’s actually several DC blogs participating in this partnership — we’re calling ourselves “Bloggers United for DC SCORES.” I’m working with Tiffani Nicole Johnson of the New Brightwoodian blog and Andrew Wiseman of the New Columbia Heights blog to share the stories of the kids, families and difference-makers in the Petworth community. (Follow them on their blogs and social accounts, as they'll be following other area schools around / outside Petworth. Info below.)

I’ll share soccer games held in our area (you should come out and cheer on your local teams!) as well as things like this 2014 Poetry Slam at Powell Elementary, where kids feel empowered to share poems in Spanish and English: 

Plus, DC SCORES has teamed up with DC United to run all of the pro soccer team's children's programs. According to the press release, "By consolidating efforts, overnight the organizations will dramatically enhance and extend their shared mission to improve low-income children’s physical fitness and confidence while building literacy, increasing school engagement, and deepening their connections to their community."

A little known but amazing resource in our city, DC SCORES has a proven history of building not just cohesive teams of children, but communities as well. By highlighting these stories through words, photos and video, I’m hoping you’ll become closer with your neighbors, feel more connected to the local schools, and simply feel great about our neighborhood -- and encourage the kids by reading their poems here on Petworth News and coming out to the games and poetry contests.

Watch for more info coming on Petworth News about the kids, their poetry, their soccer games and the awesome things they’ll do in the year ahead. I hope you’ll stay involved.

I want to thank David Sheon for getting me involved with the amazing organization, and Jake Lloyd from DC SCORES for his great help -- I look forward to a great year ahead working together!

DC SCORES Communications Manager Jake Lloyd and David Sheon

DC SCORES Communications Manager Jake Lloyd and David Sheon

To find out more about DC SCORES, check out their website, where you can sign up to volunteer at a neighborhood school, donate to the program, host a small fundraiser for the organization and more! 

Pics courtesy of DC SCORES Flickr