Spring Newsletter 2018
We are so excited to kick off our partnership with Hidden Gems, a non-profit founded by professional soccer player, Stephanie McCaffrey, a member of the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL and the United States women’s national soccer team. “At Hidden Gems, we were motivated to help young girls from undeserved communities foster ambition and develop high impact attributes and life skills." The girls teams at Pilsen, Hughes, and Castellanos had an amazing time working with the Hidden Gems Coaches learning lots of new soccer skills and building positive relationships with incredible female role models. We look forward to watching this partnership grow!
Hunt4Soccer Gives Back
Hunt4Soccer is a non profit founded in 2004 in memory of Hunt Silock, who died suddenly in 2002 at the age of 13. Hunt4Soccer works with after school programs like America SCORES Chicago, to prove at risk youth with their own soccer ball that they can keep even after the program ends. So far they have given out over 106,000 soccer balls to children from all across the country.
Hunt4Soccer provides balls for each of our poet-athletes every season. This is extremely beneficial for our kids and gives them the ability to practice at home and stay fit. Each season, Master Coach Dean goes to every school to run an interactive training session and personally hand out the Hunt4Soccer balls after the training. He tells our students about Hunt4Soccer and the impact that this program has on the lives of children all around the country. One April 26th, Coach Dean went to Catalyst, one of our new partner schools this season, and ran the training with the elementary school boys team. He ended the training session by giving out the Hunt4Soccer balls to each happy participant!
SHOUT! Game Day
On May 11th, SCORES poet-athletes participated in the annual SHOUT Game Day at Douglas Park. In addition to playing soccer, the kids helped clean up the park, went on an exercise scavenger hunt, and conducted interviews with opposition team members, which they used to create a poem about their interview partner. SHOUT! is a great way for the kids to get to know other SCORES poet-athletes who aren’t on their team and may live in different neighborhoods. Partner poetry allows them to build bonds very quickly over shared interests. Here is am example of one of the partner poems:
William is my friend
He'll be my friend ‘til the end
We play soccer
But he's not a ball hogger
William is my friend.
Winter Newsletter (2017/2018)
Spotlight: Coach Chanalee
Growing up, Chanalee believed that her family only consisted of the people directly related to her until she joined SCORES. “SCORES taught me that there was family outside of relatives and that I could trust and depend on my coaches and teammates.” Now, a coach in her community, she works hard to mentor and instill leadership in the next generation of poet-athletes! After winning the Red Carpet Poetry Slam in fifth grade with her piece “Wings on my Back”, she traveled to New York City with Coach Amy and Coach Dean for the National Poetry Slam. Although she was excited to be a part of this event, she was sad that she wouldn’t be home for her birthday. However, when they got to New York, Coach Amy and Coach Dean surprised her with a big birthday cake!
Did You Miss the Red Carpet Poetry Slam?
This year's 12th Annual Red Carpet Poetry Slam was a huge success! Our poet athletes wowed the audience with powerful pieces that touched on everything from, favorite seasons and the power of poetry, to empowerment, privilege, and a secret love. Through the hard work of our team and the generosity of our supporters we were able to raise over $68,000 to support our programming and help grow America SCORES Chicago!
Junior SCORES: Small but Mighty!
Junior SCORES is winter programming for k-2nd graders designed to foster interest and excitement in language arts and help them develop an active and healthy lifestyle at an early age. Although Orozco was new to our program this winter, the coaches and players were eager to start the season. The Junior SCORES coaches did a great job incorporating Teamwork, Leadership and Commitment into each practice by teaching the poet-athletes how to work together as a team through exploring the fundamentals of soccer and poetry. At the end of the season, Orozco’s poet-athletes were excited to showcase their new skills in front of their parents, coaches, teachers, and friends during the Junior SCORES Game Day that took place on March 1st.
Future Stars in the Making
There was no off-season this winter for our select middle school All Stars! Their demonstration of the SCORES core values - teamwork, leadership & commitment - along with their natural skill on the field and in front of the mic during the fall season earned them a coveted position on the All Star squad. All Star poets put in overtime after the Community Slam as they prepared for the Red Carpet Poetry Slam (see story above for details) with the help and instruction from special preforming arts coach/mentors. If you attended the Slam, you saw first-hand that their hard work paid off! Meanwhile, All Star soccer players, representing a number of our partner schools, got to expand their skills with more advanced training sessions while forming friendships with kids from other schools and building bonds with SCORES alumni. The All Star girls' and boys' teams both competed in indoor leagues at Chi-Town Futbol!
Learning and Sharing at the Annual SCORES Conference
Each year, all of the America SCORES affiliates get together for SCORES Con! This workshop is a valuable development opportunity that we make the most of each year by sending 2-3 Chicago staff representatives who lead and attend a number of seminars and work sessions over a three day period. We work hard to leverage the nation-wide network of resources and expertise to further the Chicago mission and improve program quality and impact. In fact, this year expert writing program staff convened for working sessions as we look to revamp and enhance our 3rd-5th grade Writing for the Community spring service learning curriculum!
Spring Season 2018 Info
The SCORES spring season is right around the corner! Practices begin Monday, April 9th. Here are some important dates to mark on your calendar. If you are interested in volunteering please reach out to Coach Kari at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up on the website.
1st Game Day- April 20th, 4:00-6:30pm
2nd Game Day- April 27th, 4:00-6:30pm
3rd Game Day- May 4th, 4:00-6:30pm
4th Game Day/ Shout! - May 11th, 4:00-6:30pm
5th Game Day- May 18th, 4:00-6:30pm
6th Game Day- May 25th, 4:00-6:30pm
Jamboree! - June 2nd, 9:00am-2:00pm
SCORES Cup! - June 23rd, 9:00am- 3:00pm
Past Newsletters: Fall 2017
SCORES Profile: Coach Stephan
Born and raised on the west side of Chicago, Stephan is a former poet-athlete who now coaches a SCORES team in the neighborhood where he grew up. Initially more interested in poetry, the program helped him discover his passion for soccer.
“When I played basketball in the neighborhood, I would put the ball on the ground and kick it like a soccer ball, so soccer was a natural fit for me,” said Stephan.
Inspired Art Recap
This year, our Inspired Art 2017 fundraiser was held on November 3rd at the Peter Mars Gallery in the West Loop. The event was a great way to showcase the incredible art that was inspired by our poet athletes. In addition to bidding on the art and eating delicious food provided by Food For Thought, the guests were treated to spectacular performances by Melany, Nancy, and Yaritzy, three of our middle school poet athletes from Castellanos. At the end of the night, we raised over $5,000 in support of our innovative youth development program - Literacy in Action - and had a great time doing it!
Getting Healthy with SCORES
UIC Partnership for Health Promotion
Our very own Coach Brandon works with the UIC Partnership for Health Promotion to provide informative and interactive health and nutrition workshops for all our 3rd - 5th grade teams. At Mason, Quantay was surprised to learn about the amount of "hidden sugar" in the everyday foods he eats (or at least used to eat...). For example, there are over 9 teaspoons of sugar in one Coke. That means after drinking one can of soda you have already gone over your daily recommended sugar intake! After studying a few nutrition labels, the students learned that if you can't pronounce an ingredient then you probably shouldn't eat it!
November's Community Poetry Slams!
This year we had separate Community Poetry Slams for our elementary and middle school students. The Middle School poet-athletes had their slam on November 16th at Spry Elementary School. A number of poet athletes shared their powerful poetry, addressing a wide range of issues from immigration and social injustice to losing a loved one. In addition to these performances, each team shared the music video they created with help from Tiny's Performing Arts Center. The Castellanos Girls team was chosen as the winner of the Golden Microphone! The next night, the Elementary School teams had their Community Slam at Mason Elementary School. Individual poet athletes shared their poetry and each team performed a team poem. At the end of the night, the judges crowned the Hughes Boys team as the winners of the Golden Microphone for their poem about empowerment. See them perform at the Red Carpet Poetry Slam in March!
Passport to High School Success
More than 95 students from 7 schools participated in the annual Passport to High School Success (PHSS) Fair, made possible through a partnership between America SCORES Chicago and Changing Worlds (CW). Students from SCORES middle school teams and Changing worlds art programs gathered at Curie Metropolitan High School for workshops that included career-mapping activities, interviewing etiquette, conflict resolution, and navigating the new CPS high school application process. Students also met with SCORES and CW alumni to learn about their current high school experiences.