This week inPOINTS celebrates Washington D.C. and the District of Learning. This summer inPOINTS spent a hot and humid week visiting some of the great programs serving young people in our nation’s capital.
DC SCORES is a program with the District of Learning based in the DC area that helps elementary and middle school aged youth build teamwork through after school activities.
“Our program intentionally integrates poetry, soccer, and service learning,” Bethany Henderson, executive director at DC SCORES, said. “Arts, sports, and service are the mind body and soul.”
The program is based around a 12- week fall session where students work on original poetry. Each student creates up to at least five original poems then at the end of the session the participating schools perform at DC SCORES poetry slam.
While engaging in poetry, the students are also practicing soccer twice a week along with playing in games.
“It’s all based around kids becoming themselves and being able to share that,”
In the 12-week spring session the students continue to play soccer but use the team skill they learned in the poetry fall session to build a service learning plan. The students identify and research an issue in their school or community and then address with an executable plan.
DC SCORES hires and trains DC public school teachers to run the program so that the participating students have direct access to a trusted mentor.
“It’s all based around kids becoming themselves and being able to share that,” Joshua Freeholm, volunteer and outreach coordinator at DC SCORES, said. “District of Learning really allows them to come out and say ‘this is who I am and this is what I’m interested in.’”