Monday, March 29, 2010

College Kicks is almost Here!!

College Kicks is right around the corner and everyone here at SCORES is getting excited for the festivities.

Here is a summary of what the kids have ahead of them...

College Kicks is an annual SCORES event where all of our third, fourth, and fifth graders don't go to their normal practices after school, rather they are bused to Seattle University for an afternoon filled with college life. The poet-athletes get to run through soccer drills with a Seattle U soccer team, walk around the campus with a Seattle U student tour guide and then participate in a Q & A session with current students. They'll be asking questions about how to pay for college, what it's like to be a student and, this from last year, "do you have a bed time?" It's an eye-opening experience for all the students.

The event is meant to introduce the poet-athletes to college and hopefully inspire them to pursue higher education. It will also be the first big event of the SCORES spring season.

What America SCORES Seattle's Executive Director Carole Kelley had to say...

“College Kicks is my favorite SCORES event of the year. It serves to open our students’ minds to the possibilities of educational opportunities beyond finishing high school – something many of them may not have even thought about,” said Carole Kelley, America SCORES Seattle Executive Director. “College Kicks provides an opportunity for our students to not only visit a beautiful college campus – to experience how a campus looks and feels, but to relate to college students in a very personal way. America SCORES Seattle is very grateful to Seattle University for providing our students with this meaningful opportunity.”

The Details...

Who: Seattle U student volunteers, our poet-athletes and coaches, and SCORES staff and board
Where: Seattle University's Logan Field for soccer drills and the Student Center for the Q & A session
When: April 7th from 4 to 6:30

Here is a link to the event write up on the Seattle Times' Sounders blog.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SCORES Season: Day One

The SCORES sites were bustling with energy yesterday. The kids were too excited to sit still when we all arrived at the sites. The afternoon was filled with talks about the differences between the Spring and Fall seasons, some played a little soccer and many sites jumped into writing curriculum. In both situations the poet-athletes were ready to go with great ideas during the writing sessions and quick moves on the soccer field.

During the poetry class the students and teachers were discussing what it means to be a hero, whether they are a superhero like Spiderman, or a local hero doing good in their own communities. This ties into their Spring season because the writing portion of the program focuses on service learning. The students will think of a project that will help their communities, plan it and follow through with their plan. Heroes work in many different ways, but the common theme with all of them is they help others who need it.

The Teams really focused on what qualities make a hero, and what creates the respect people have for a hero, what are the values of a hero. They brainstormed about this and then created "Agent of Good" Crests. These were blank shields shaped like the back of the SCORES logo then they filled them in with drawings, symbols and poems representing the things each poet-athlete would like to accomplish during the spring season.

Also, we have great pictures on our facebook profile! You can link to it on the right.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A St. Paddy's day SCORES Update!

Here are a few updates about SCORES activities...

Sounders Community Shield Match
We also want to send a big thank you to all of the 18,000 plus fans who stood out in the rain for last Thursday's Sounders match. Some of the Community Shield match's proceeds will go to the four community partners, including SCORES Seattle! The funds will help soccer touch the lives of almost 200 elementary students this spring and beyond. THANKS!!

NY Slam Poets
On Last Friday some of the staff got to go watch some of the practice rounds of our national slam poets. The poems, the performance and speaking styles are really coming together for these two poet-athletes. Eddie has really put a beat/rhythm behind his words. You can hear the hip hop behind each of his lines and stanzas. Milla has a poem with her insights into her everyday life, but the surprise is that she is a fluent Russian speaker. She incorporates a little of her mother's native language into the poem too! New York is going to be great!

Coach Refresher Sessions
The writing coaches got togeth
er and there was a lot of discussion about what the spring curriculum and what service learning is all about. They talked about ways to avoid disengagement and some hypothesizing about projects and ways to make the experience stronger. All of the great veteran coaches shared stories and offered advice based on their firsthand experience.

“It’s fantastic to see the teachers coming together and talking about how they can make the experience more impactful and exciting for these kids,” said Carolyn Clark, America SCORES Seattle VISTA. “Seeing them invest their time and energy the way they have is the most we can expect from anyone we try to engage with our organization.”

The soccer coaches received some soccer training from Seattle University's head assistant coach, an assistant coach and a couple players who ran through the drills being taught. After the coaching session there was a SCORES coach scrimmage where everyone ran around getting into SCORES mode. Afterward the coaches gathered in a classroom to talk amongst themselves about best practices.

Happy St. Paddy's day! Remember to wear your green, maybe a Rave Green Sounders jersey.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Season is Upon Us!

The SCORES staff is gearing up for our spring season. We're training in the coaches, new and old. We're dusting off all the soccer balls, cones and goals. Just making sure everything is in tip-top condition for opening day, March 22nd.

From what we've been hearing from our coaches the kids are ready to go! They've actually been asking their teachers/coaches about spring session since our Seattle Poetry Slam, last November. So, we are making sure everything is in perfect condition and ready to kick-off spring season.

Our site administrator at Roxhill relayed this message from a parent about her poet-athlete to us, “Scores is a wonderful program, that her son is looking forward to returning this spring and that it has greatly helped his writing skills.”

Our spring program is a bit different than the fall because we focus more on service learning. In the fall we hone in on poetry, in the spring we couple poetry with community service. So instead of a poetry slam, in the spring we have a Jamboree! This is a gathering of all the 12 teams where they showcase their service in their communities. In the past teams have raised money for an animal shelter, or visited a retirement home to learn about their neighborhood's cultural roots or even gone to a local park and cleaned up litter and graffiti.

"I can’t wait to see what our SCORES students come up with for their community service-learning projects," said Heather Christianson, program assistant at SCORES. " We have some fantastic students who will definitely come up with some great ideas."

The kids awareness of their neighborhood's problems at such young ages, 3rd to 5th grade, is surprising. They notice everything adults do, but they find simple effective ideas to change their environment, rather than training themselves to look past problems. They often come to the realization that even small changes get noticed by an entire community. They really seem to be inspired by the idea of helping others and notice it benefits themselves too.