Friday, February 26, 2010

Sounders FC Corporate Cup 2010

If you work at a corporation in the Pacific Northwest and you have a soccer team of men, women or both, you can compete in the Sounders FC Corporate Cup 2010. This tournament includes a pre-tournament party at Qwest Field, first rounds played on the Sounders practice fields at the Starfire Sports Complex on July 24th & 25th, and the championship game on the Sounders XBOX pitch at Qwest Field on August 8th.

Here is a link to the official Web site with more details about getting involved.

The tournament, in addition to being fun, competitive and a great way to get onto XBOX Pitch, benefits America SCORES Seattle. SCORES is a five day-a-week soccer and literacy program serving 200 Seattle public elementary school students.

So get out of your boardroom, run from your cubicle, grab your cleats and play soccer for SCORES!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SCORES receives Bestfoods Education Foundation grant

Great news for America SCORES sites across the country, we received our largest grant in the history of the non-profit, $1.3 million. It came from the Bestfoods Education Foundation. This grant will allow us to deepen the program we offer our poet-athletes around the country. It will ensure that all the sites can continue to provide the service their communities need.

Here is what our new CEO had to say about the grant:

“This gift will enable America SCORES to reach new heights in its mission to inspire urban youth through creativity and teamwork,” said Norma Barquet, CEO of America SCORES. “We are extremely grateful to the Board at the Bestfoods Educational Foundation for its generosity and belief in our organization to provide educational opportunities to deserving children. America SCORES is honored and privileged to be the recipient of such an extraordinary gift.”

Here in Seattle we hope the money will help us to expand the number of students we reach as well as the amount of time we have with them. We hope to expand spring and fall session from 8 weeks to 10. This grant will help as a step in that direction.

Here is what our Executive Director said:

"Everyone in the SCORES’ family is extremely grateful to Best Foods for this generous grant," said Carole Kelley, Executive Director America SCORES Seattle. "It is a huge vote of confidence that our program is achieving our mission of inspiring urban youth to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students, and become agents of change in their communities."

Here is a link to the press release.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


-Photo from

Seattle Sounders FC's forward Steve Zakuani launched his own non-profit on Monday. It's called Kingdom-Hope. The non-profit is intended to help individuals become great achievers, both on and off the soccer pitch. The program will have soccer camps, a scholarship fund and life coaching opportunities for participants.
At SCORES we love to hear about soccer being incorporated into programs about more than the world's game. Programs asking people to be work harder, work for others or programs helping at-risk individuals gain the confidence to succeed in life. We try to teach these values with everyone of our poet-athletes and it sounds like Zakuani will be doing something similar.
It's also an incredible honor for SCORES to be a Community Partner with such a great organization like the Sounders FC. SCORES has worked and is working with players to make our program have more impact on our students. Players like Taylor Graham, who is now a board member, and Steve Zakuani show that professional athletes can help many without a great strain, and will with or without being asked.
Congratulations to Zakuani for his tremendous efforts to help others and good luck during this year's season.

Here is a link to the Web site.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Seattle Included in World Cup Bid

The game is in US, the tag line for the US World Cup bid aptly cites the prevalence of soccer to the USA. As the world's melting pot country, soccer certainly has an important place in our history and our future, and Seattle is among the 18 cities to potentially win the 2018 or 2022 World Cup bid.

Other cities being considered include big hitters such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington DC. And while those cities may be tough to beat, argument for Seattle notes the presence of the notably successful Sounders, new to the MLS but with a deep rooted following.

As a soccer organization, we of course would be thrilled to see the World Cup take place in our city with our kids to bear witness. With the soccer games we host so often including representation from countless countries, the world cup would bring an adult version of what our students experience every Friday.

The US first (and most recently) hosted the World Cup in 1994, was received with record breaking success, and just two years later launched Major League Soccer. The invigorating power of the event could only further strengthen our teams and fans.

Bringing the World Cup to this city would only be a positive.
Seattle celebrates its cultural differences, while still struggling with them. SCORES uses soccer to teach our kids about teamwork, respect, and vigor. We might hope that the World Cup would do the same for our community. To sign the petition to make Seattle the hosting city and learn more about this endeavor, follow this link to the official USA Bid page.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

GMA Dives into Childhood Obesity

Photo from

This morning on Good Morning America they had a segment that highlighted the current crisis of obesity in America's youth. The story had young children asking federal officials questions about what the government is going to do to make sure school lunches are healthy, making sure there is more physical education during and after school, and ensuring the academic rigor demanded by the No Child Left Behind is matched by some rigorous physical activity as well.

The news segment was inspired by First Lady Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, link, to end childhood obesity within a generation. President Obama signed, link, an executive order yesterday for a collaboration between government, business and nonprofit entities to work together. This was the First Lady's first policy issue she chose to delve into.

Here are some facts that stood out:

-The obesity rate has tripled over the last 30 years.

-Nearly one in three children is overweight or obese in America.

-Obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service.

SCORES has been attempting to fight this all-too-common condition since 1994, 2002 in Seattle, with after school programming incorporating athletics and academics. We have been getting kids to play soccer three days a week in the Spring and Fall. This gets our poet-athletes out running on the soccer field, increases their heart rates and bringing the joy and excitement of team sports to all participants.

In addition to physical activity SCORES provides a healthy snack to the poet-athletes including whole grain oat granola bars and we work with the Seattle Public School system's after school snack program. SCORES also uses healthy eating as part of the program curriculum. In addition to soccer games, we incorporate games to teach students the benefits of the Food Pyramid, what it means to be physically fit and how to attain it.

We are doing everything with our current funding to encourage many aspects of the First Lady's program. SCORES Seattle hopes that with this added emphasis on healthy young people that there will be a future of healthy kids.

NYTimes article.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Winners of the trip to NYC!

Today is the day to announce the winners of the SCORES’ all expenses-paid trip to New York City. We narrowed our poets down from 196 students to about a dozen who were nominated by their coaches. The SCORES staff took over a week to travel from school to school and listen to the students perform their poems in front of us, and the most intimidating audience member, a video camera. We then discussed as a staff and decided on two.

We chose a young man from Dunlap Elementary, 5th grader Eddie Edwards, and a young lady from Emerson Elementary, 4th grader Milla Espinoza.

These two are going to embark on a journey to New York City for the National Poetry Slam! There will be 28 poets from all of the SCORES sites around the country. Seattle’s two participants will participate in a weekend full of teambuilding and poetry workshops, some sightseeing as well as rehearsals.

They will deliver their poetry performances in the New York Stock Exchange building in Manhattan on April 19th.

Congratulations to both of Seattle’s big winners. They both have put in hard work to receive this honor, and there is more preparation work to be done, but they deserve a moment of recognition.

Graham looking Healthy for Next Season

SCORES board member Taylor Graham is looking healthy for this upcoming Sounders FC season. Here is an article about him, his recovery from foot injuries and his time spent with charitable organizations, like SCORES, with his time off. He represents the best characteristics of a professional athlete and demonstrates these with his behavior on and off the field. We at SCORES were excited to have him join our board and are even more excited for him to get back out on the pitch where he can play the game he loves. Congrats and good luck!

Here is a link to the article.