Tuesday, May 31, 2016

America SCORES Seattle has a new Program Director!

Hello and my name is Chris LaRoche, and I’m very excited to announce that I’m the new Program Director for America SCORES Seattle!

SCORES is like my long-lost twin: I love working with kids, I love soccer, and I’m an avid writer and community activist. I worked for Seattle Public Schools for years -including most SCORES schools. I love learning about different people, cultures, and languages. I love writing and used to write for “Real Change”. Not only do I still play soccer, but I’m a referee and serve on the board of Seattle Recreational Adult Team Soccer League (RATS for short).Working for SCORES is like combining all my favorite things into one!

I’ve heard a lot about SCORES’ poetry slam and look forward to being a part of that and all the other activities we do!

Some Q&A with our new team member!

What was your favorite sport to play growing up?
When I was a kid, I was not very big, strong, or skilled, but I liked chasing a ball so for soccer was the sport for me! Now as a grown-up, I’m still not big, strong, or skilled, but I still play soccer every week. In fact, I barely know anything about any other sport, so if you want me to feel awkward, ask me about what I call “one of those weird ball things”.
Who is your favorite athlete?
My favorite athletes are those who realize that there’s more to life than a sport, and show real concern for issues close to their hearts and do something about it. Didier Drogba comes to mind, because he negotiated a truce to the civil war in his home country of Cote d’Ivoire ahead of the 2006 World Cup.
Who is your favorite writer, singer or poet?
My all-time favorite book is “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” my Peter Matthiessen. I also really like Sherman Alexie, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, e.e. cummings, Tom Waits, Dr. Seuss.
My favorite singers (who are really poets, right?) are Erykah Badu and Tom Waits. And my favorite poets include e.e.cummings and Dr. Seuss.
Do you have a favorite poem?
That’s easy!


By e. e. cummings

 a)s w(e loo)k
S                                                                    a
 rIvInG                          .gRrEaPsPhOs)

And a close follow-up, this isn’t a poem but part of a book that’s like a long poem:

From “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss

What do you know about tweetle beetles?  Well...

When tweetle beetles fight,
it's called a tweetle beetle battle.

And when they battle in a puddle,
it's a tweetle beetle puddle battle.

AND when tweetle beetles battle with paddles in a puddle,
they call it a tweetle beetle puddle paddle battle.


When beetles battle beetles in a puddle paddle battle
and the beetle battle puddle is a puddle in a bottle...
...they call this a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle.


When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles
and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles...
...they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle
bottle paddle battle.
What is your favorite food?
Aside from soccer, writing, and empowering kids to become future leaders, I like to garden. My favorite things to grow are spinach, raspberries and garlic. Otherwise I’m a theoretical vegetarian and adventure eater who likes to try new foods from around the world.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Asli's NYC Adventure

On April 9th, Asli boarded her first plane at SeaTac Airport bound for the other coast. She was on her way to a big adventure and show in New York City! 

So let's share some of moments across the city starting here, on the top of the Empire State Building!
New friends in Times Square

Fun in the hotel!
Soccer in Central Park
And of course there was a lot of time spent preparing for the National Poetry Slam!

A nice shot of Alsi's celebratory henna during rehearsal

Then, it was show time!!

And at the reception all the Poet-Athletes were treated like superstars, taking photos, giving autographs and enjoying the celebration of SCORES and each of them!

After such a fun (and exhausting weekend) Asli was ready to return home, but not before she took one more trip to see something she was most excited about: 

We caught up with Asli at soccer practice last week! We'll be sharing her interview soon! 
Now you can watch the entire 10th Annual National Poetry Slam: here!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Meet Asli - National Slam Poet

Meet Asli, the 5th grader from Maple Elementary who will be representing Seattle at the America SCORES National Poetry Slam! The National Slam will be held in New York City on April 11th, 2016. Which means Asli is getting on a plane and heading east in just a short time! We'd like to share a bit about this Poet-Athlete who is about to have an exciting adventure!

Asli comes from a large family, she has 4 sisters and 3 brothers. As one of eight, a lot of her time spent out of school is with her siblings and helping her mother. She's been in SCORES two years and her favorite thing is spending time with her teachers/coaches and teammates!

For her trip to NYC she is most excited about getting on a plane and performing on stage! She's still a bit nervous about performing and meeting new people but we're sure she'll do wonderfully!

She really likes her school, it is different from other schools, because they don't have walls (it's an open concept school), or uniforms and she has a lot of friends! Her favorite subject recently switched from math to social studies, right now they are learning about the Boston Massacre and the American Revolution. 

"My family is crazy and weird but we get along" -we can all relate to that Asli! 

She likes all kinds of music and food but when we spoke she said that one of her favorite artists right now is Becky G, and the food she would want is pizza. We talked about the giant slices of famous NY pizza she should try while she's there. 

Speaking of which YOU can help make sure she gets to try that giant pizza and has other fun opportunities during her trip as well by contributing to NYCforAsli 

And of course, we'd love to share Asli's poem with you: 

Life is a place     
With all kinds of faces who all have different races     
Life is a prize, but how come everybody dies?     
Without life where would we go?     
Where would we be?     
Would we be under the sea?     
Life is where the successful kids turn into smart nerds at least that’s what I heard     
Life is a place where people come and go     
You might think life is fast, but no     
Life is where we are now     
Right this moment we are in LIFE!

This isn't the last we'll hear from Asli as we prep for this great journey east! Stay tuned for more updates on Asli and the America SCORES National Poetry Slam 2016! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Poetry Wakanadas

During the Winter Season, SCORES looks a little different, a little more...little :) 

Our JR SCORES Programs are over half-way through their season. This programming is aimed at students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade who would like to find out what soccer and writing poetry is all about. For many this is their first time playing on a team or writing a poem. 

JR SCORES is also unique in the curriculum used for these first forays into writing. Our JRs are still young 5-8 years old and so we try to engage them in writing through stories. Last year they met a monkey named Zoomba, and learned about sharing, team work and creative problem solving while using poems to help introduce themselves to their new friend or to share what it means to be nice. This year they are apprentices of the great Poetry Wakanda (or one who posses magic power), Onida the Owl. She comes from a long line of wakandas who make the lives of their fellow owls more interesting, more colorful and more heart-felt through poetry. 

Meet Onida, the Poetry Wakanda

Recently however, the other owls have been losing their interest in poetry in favor of this strange box with pictures and talking that doesn't make them use their imaginations. It is up to our JR SCORES Wakanda apprentices to help Onida write poems so wonderful and full of magic that the owls turn away from the TV and back to the poetry they used to love so much! 

Our apprentices are also learning how to dribble, pass and play together in their school gyms! Check out our pictures below, poet-athletes working on poems about "big feelings" in their heart charts and super powers! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

National Slam Finalist Poems

These 19 poems are by 19 talented, thoughtful SCORES Poet-Athletes. They wrote these and many other original works during Fall Season and each took the stage to share their poem on November 11th at our Annual Poetry Slam! Almost 140 students took the stage that night, and this month 19 were considered Seattle Finalists for the America SCORES National Poetry Slam! They shared their inspiration for their poems, what they love about SCORES and gave us their best work we couldn't be more proud! 


Who is more delicate than glass?
Can be crystal clear or all fogged up
Comes in a variety of different colors
All in one package
Who hates if it’s not the first one of its kind
Because if it’s not it’s easier to shatter than the original
Who you may ask? I know
They kind of just vanished, and when they did I promised to keep their identity a secret
So who, will forever remain a mystery
Here’s one more hint, they hate change.
-Kya 5th Grade 

“Big Bad Bully”
Why? Why do people bully?
I can probably answer that
Either they got bullied in past and take all their anger out on you instead of themselves
But either way it’s still a major problem - am I right? Or am I wrong?
Here’s a little advice ignore him or her and they won’t have fun anymore
See you later alligator, stay nice.
-Nativia 5th Grade 

“One Day”
Have you ever thought about your future?
Well I have
I think one day I’ll be a director, I’ll be making the greatest hits
Or maybe one day, I’ll be fashion designer, I’ll be creating hats and shoes to dress that fit
Or maybe one day I’ll be a pilot, I’ll be flying from continent to continent to continent
Well I don’t really care ‘cause I’m only ten
And I got lots more time to spend
So whatever I choose I hope it’s good for me and you
-Jaliya 5th Grade 

SCORES is fun and I wish I could be in SCORES every year
I get excited when I go to soccer games
We make a goal like a pro, I let you down but I help you up
Like a boss on the field, take the ball and make a pass
We make you proud, we make it loud
But don’t pout ‘cause we’re taking you out
You’re the gold, you can be just like a soccer ball rolling down the field
Be the goalie, be the defender, it doesn’t matter just be whatever
We have good sportsmanship
Let people know you’re in SCORES and be a great leader
-Liz 4th Grade 

“Dad Problems”
Thinking about why isn’t my dad here with me?
Why should I even call him dad when he’s never there for me?
To help with bills and supplies
I could be poor one day and he might not even be there with me
Thinking about if he even loves me anymore
Whenever I hear the words “dad” and “separate” I remember what happened to my family
He is my problem
He made me laugh but now things change
Remembering the great times we had like Christmas, or when we went to Wild Waves for the first time
Sometimes he comes for me on Sundays
But when he doesn’t something gives me a feeling he doesn’t even care anymore
He never keeps his promises, every single day I feel like crying
He was never there for special occasions like birthdays, soccer games, and performances
He never know but he might not even be there on my graduation
He’s never there to kiss me goodnight
I just can’t stand it anymore,
All those excuses he makes
-Ana 4th Grade

Friends are there for you
Right by your side when you really need them
In your life they’ll always be there
Encourage each other
Never lets you down
Doing good efforts to help your friend
Saving your friend when they’re being bullied
-Nathan  5th Grade 

Parents give you love by taking care of you
Parents help you up when you fall
Parents take care of you when you need it the most
Parents cheer you up when you’re sad
I love my parents and they love me too
-Musa M. 5th Grade 

Halloween is a time when all the ghosts rhyme
At the haunted house, there is a mouse
There is a witch, who likes to twitch
On a very dark night, we hide of fright
It is so dark, I hear dogs bark
I see a scary tree, and get stung by a bee
I went to trick-or-treat, and I told them to smell my feet
Ramiro 5th Grade 

Sometimes I sit under a tree and grieve
My mind unstable like the leaves of a weeping willow
But my body is firm on the ground, like the trunk of an evergreen
Sometimes I’m green not blue, maybe calm like a palm
Just sit and stare off in the blanket of the trees
Acorns falling in my thoughts, making them a blur
Sometimes I weep and the trees don’t sleep
Plop goes an acorn from one of the angry trees, blurring my thoughts again
The wind’s screaming in my ears, like me when I’m mad
Like when wind hits a tree and it falls
Sometimes my life’s like tangled roots
Some moments good and others just plain bad
But together it makes life what it is
Sometimes I sit under a tree and grieve
Silently slipping away from the world
All cares vanishing like an alive tree being cut down
Sometimes I’m just like a tree
-Sabrina 4th Grade 

I have feelings because I’m a person
I have feelings because I’m a girl
I have feelings because I’m amazing
I have feelings
-Ty’Yonna 5th Grade 

“I Am”
I am not a liar, I am not afraid, I am not alone
I am nothing but myself
I’m not a truck, I’m not a car
I am nothing but myself
I am a believer and achiever
But nothing but myself
-Amina 5th Grade 

“My Life”
My life can be hard it can be both
It might be lucky it might be not
It’s just how life goes
-Luqman 5th Grade 

“6 in the Morning”
It’s six in the morning I’m rising up to a new day
Hoping it’s going to be a good day
I look and see at seven a black man gets shot
It’s eight now, time to go to sleep
Back to six I hope the same thing doesn’t happen today
Never lose hope
We shall overcome this too
-Omari 5th Grade 

“The Most Precious Thing on Earth”
The most precious thing on Earth is very hard to find
I wonder if it’s yours, I wonder if it’s mine
I wonder if it’s a creature like a bunny or a dragon
I wonder if it’s something like a lamp or a wagon
I wonder if it’s karate or a little baby potty
I wonder if it’s life or death
I wonder if it’s having really good breath
I wonder if it’s me and family together
I wonder if it’s me having family forever
Psh!  Whatever
The most precious thing ever is the world all together forever
-Ridwan 5th Grade 

“I Believe”
I’m a believer because I believe in things
Things that don’t exist
I’m a believer because I believe in people
Who believe in me and believe in themselves
I’m a believer because I like to believe
I’m a believer because achieve my dreams
I’m a believer because that’s who I am
-Rahmo 5th Grade 

Life is a place
With all kinds of faces who all have different races
Life is a prize, but how come everybody dies?
Without life where would we go?
Where would we be?
Would we be under the sea?
Life is where the successful kids turn into smart nerds at least that’s what I heard
Life is a place where people come and go
You might think life is fast, but no
Life is where we are now
Right this moment we are in LIFE!
-Asli  5th Grade 

“With My”
With my eyes I see, I see people of different color.
With my voice I speak the words of love.
With my hands I hold, hold on to the people I love dearly.        
With my heart I feel, I feel so many emotions.
With my words I speak words of kindness.
With my eyes, voice, hands, heart, and words I can do many things so can you!
-Jaydalen  5th Grade 

“SCORES is My Beautiful Home”
SCORES is my home because my team is like family.
SCORES is my home warm and cuddly.
SCORES is my home because it is fun.
SCORES is my home because of the fun and nice teachers.
SCORES is my home because it is peaceful.
I am glad SCORES is not a terrifying and ugly home.
After all, SCORES is my beautiful home.
-Paulina 5th Grade 

“I Wish”
I wish we could all live in a world with no racism and no wars
I am blinded by this violence
People trash talking
People talking about war
I wish it could all stop
I wish we could live in a world in peace
-Sebastian 5th Grade