Kicker! 2020

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2020

POETRY UNITES


We hid a lot of stars in this year's Kicker! How many can you find? ¡Ocultamos muchas estrellas en el Kicker de este año! ¿Cuántos puedes encontrar?

Contents! Dear America SCORES . . . . . . . . . . . 1 About Us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2020 Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Speak Your Truth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Q&A With A Soccer Star . . . . . . . . . . 12 Going Green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Game Time!.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Soccer Poems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Big Picture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Q&A With A Poetry Star. . . . . . . . . . . 22 Girl Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Family is Everything. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 A Word From Our Sponsors. . . . . . . . 28 Our Schools.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

BONUS How many words can you make from the word "poetry?" We did the first one for you! ¿Cuántas palabras puedes formar con la palabra "poesía"? ¡Hicimos el primero por ti!


Dear America SCORES Poet-Athletes, Playing soccer - running, kicking, twirling, thinking, laughing, scoring, winning and losing, and writing - poems, or stories, or songs, or dreams, have been part of my life since I can remember. For my whole life. The freedom I feel running, being outside in the heat or the cold, chasing a ball or running into position, mirrors the freedom of my mind in words, chasing the perfect sentiment or turn of phrase, grabbing images and dreams from the ether and placing them on a page. DC SCORES first, and then America SCORES, was a vehicle for me to share my freedom with young, vibrant, beautiful people like each of you. I was very young when we started this organization – not a whole lot older than many of you – and the joy I felt in the game and in the classroom with my girls that first year - they were all girls, to start - I hope is the joy you still feel when you step on the pitch, or put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. America SCORES is also, now and always, about community. About your teammates, and classmates, the fans who come to your games and poetry slams, your families and friends. About your coaches, the America SCORES team in every school, the organization's friends, and our heroes. Megan Rapinoe, the USWNT, the USMNT, our spoken word artists, local poet laureates, and everyone who supports all that we do every day. May you continue to run, kick, pass, win, lose, write, shout, speak, be heard, demonstrate who you are, create a movement, and change the world. Each of you are a generation of America SCORES poetathletes who are the future, and who are already shaking things up, on and off the field, remaking our country in your image. Keep it up! With love, pride, and boundless hope for your next move,

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A national nonprofit, America SCORES engages low-income urban youth with innovative after-school and summer programming that builds teams through a unique combination of soccer, poetry, and servicelearning.

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Our holistic, team-based approach works: 88% of students report higher selfconfidence, saying that “America SCORES makes me feel good about myself.� Teachers also say that students show greater class participation and, in turn, achieve higher academic performance. Not only that, but students increase their physical fitness levels. America SCORES aims to further inspire these poetathletes to have a greater sense of confidence to make a difference in the world.


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2020 Spotlight! SHINING A LIGHT ON THE POETATHLETES, COACHES, AND TEAMS WHO MAKE AMERICA SCORES GREAT

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TEAM SPOTLIGHT

AMERICA SCORES BOSTON

Mather School Teammate Shows Courage in the Face of Adversity MATHER SCHOOL POETATHLETE OVERCOMES AN EARLY SEASON SETBACK AND BECOMES AN INSPIRATION TO HER TEAM

Destine is in her second year with Boston Scores at The Mather School, the oldest public school in North America. During a routine practice this past fall, Destine broke her leg and found out she was unable to play soccer for the rest of the season. Some students might have hung their heads and quit, or shown disappointment that they couldn’t play with their friends, but Destine focused on contributing to her team in other ways. During soccer practices Destine moved around on her crutches to pass back out of bound balls. In games she worked with her coach on the sidelines to identify players who needed subs and adjust matchups. In writing practice, Destine memorized the team poem in just two days, and used her extra time to work with her teammates who were still struggling.

Lori Thames, the Site Coordinator and Writing Coach at Mather, said “[Destine’s] attitude was refreshing, her forgiveness was commendable.” All of Destine’s hard work culminated at the 21st Annual Boston Scores Poetry Slam. Her teammates unanimously agreed that she should be the one to introduce her coaches and teammates. Destine walked on stage by herself and introduced her team before participating in their school poem about the color black:

The Mather team was given the Best Delivery Award, in part due to Destine’s stage presence and confidence. Over the course of her season, Destine showcased what it means to embody the Scores principles of Teamwork, Leadership, and Commitment. Coach Thames added that “out of challenge we made a choice, and that was to give Destine a voice.” Destine is excited for her leg to heal so she can continue supporting her team, and maybe even score a goal or two next season!

"BLACK IS COOL BLACK IS FUN LIKE THE MOON BLOCKS OUT THE SUN BLACK IS US BLACK CAN BE ANYTHING"

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COACH SPOTLIGHT

AMERICA SCORES MILWAUKEE

Coach David Leads by Example DAVID MURGUIA IS A COACH AT AMERICA SCORES MILWAUKEE. LAST YEAR HE WAS HONORED WITH THE PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL ON SPORTS, FITNESS AND NUTRITION COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD.

I started volunteering as a Milwaukee SCORES Coach in 2016 where I was introduced by my university’s service-learning initiative. I was enrolled in the College of Health Sciences with a focus on Adaptive Therapy and Recreation for children with disabilities or trauma. Before I started with SCORES I was extremely nervous, as this would be my first experience working with youth in similar settings that I was currently studying and I didn’t know if I would be able to handle it. After my first practice session my entire outlook changed for the better. I saw a group of children who just wanted the support and recognition of an adult role model who would be there for them. Being able to encourage them during their practices or help them with their poems made me realize how it easy it can be to make a positive impact on a child’s life. After I completed my service-learning I wanted to continue my mission with SCORES and help more children reach their potential both on the field and in the classroom. Working with Milwaukee SCORES over the years gave me the opportunity to coach at numerous schools and mentor children who grew up in the same neighborhoods that I did. I was able to become the person that I needed when I was younger and that was my biggest motivation for my continued work as a SCORES coach. Now, about 4 years later and finally a college graduate I am grateful for the opportunity to work with other great coaches and students. I hope to continue to teach children about what it means to be a part of team and how values like teamwork, leadership, and commitment can not only be used on the field but in their everyday lives. I believe that every child has a different love for the game and a different way of doing things. That is what makes each team I coach unique, it’s what brings us together and gives us the motivation to improve and learn from each other.

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ALUMNAE SPOTLIGHT

DC SCORES

From DC SCORES to Published Author DC SCORES ALUMNA, A'DORA THE AUTHOR, HAS PUBLISHED TWO BOOKS BEFORE GRADUATING COLLEGE!

“DC SCORES has impacted my life in a way that I will always be grateful, and to those young SCORE-ERS out there, have fun, and take advantage of every offered opportunity, because you never know where life will take you”

Follow A'dora's journey as an author on her Instagram! @adoratheauthor

A'dora joined the SCORES family at the age of nine, by way of the Arts and Technology Academy (ATA) in Washington, D.C. With a primary interest in playing soccer, she had no idea the program incorporated aspects of writing and poetic prose, along with its athletic training. The practices and games nurtured a keen commitment to the physical sport, and stimulated her sense of accountability in performing with, leading, and belonging to a team. Her dedication spilled over into the writing center, where she demonstrated an enthusiastic competitiveness, and a passionate ambition, to both compose and perform influential poetry. In 2008, ATA was awarded first place at the Annual Poetry Slam and Willis was given the Shine Award for outstanding performance. She then had the opportunity to travel to New York City to participate in the National Poetry Slam with student athletes from all around America SCORES. The following year, A'dora lead the school into another first place victory. Upon graduation from ATA, A'dora temporarily put down her pen, and proceeded with her fundamental studies, as there was not a program as such within the structure of her middle school. However, she would later realize that the zeal for and skill in prose would be something that would follow her for the rest of her life. Currently, A’dora is a junior nursing major at Bowie State University. When she is not in the classroom or off at her clinical site, she can be recognized as a two-time children’s author. Her first book He and Me: Little Nuggets for Bright Futures, was published in February 2018, and infuses poetry with spirituality, to promote a spiritual, holistic lifestyle among youth. Her second book, A Trip to the Zoo, published February 2019, also applies poetic techniques to facilitate fun in literacy and introduce early readers to a wide range of sight words. Her ultimate aspiration is to expand the network of her characters and cultivate them into a cartoon. She also speaks at local elementary schools and churches and participates in writing workshops/peer mentorship meetings with the SCORES family. “I feel as though everything we do impacts someone,” says A'dora, “whether it is driving recklessly on the freeway, or complimenting a pair of shoes; so we ought to strive to make that impact positive and cheery.” A'dora cites SCORES as a significant party that helped her understand the significance of teamwork, revealed her aptitude in the written field, and inspired her passion for and confidence in the craft.

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SERVICE LEARNING

AMERICA SCORES

America SCORES Bay Area Students at Moscone Elementary in San Fransisco wanted to help homeless women who may

Canada SCORES Vancouver

lack important resources. These students came together to address the health problems that

We teamed up with the Vancouver Whitecaps

homeless women face and offered their help. To

FC’s Week of Giving as their players, coaches,

help these women, students put together hygiene

and front office staff took the time to help out

kits that included different products for women to

with a variety of causes and organizations across

use while going through their menstrual cycle.

Vancouver. Special thanks to Fredy Montero and Carl Valentine for helping our Poet-Athletes with their community project by putting together care packages for homeless people, followed by a friendly soccer match.

America SCORES New York PS 386 worked on a school-wide project focused on improving the selection and quality of food

America SCORES Cleveland

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The Core Girls team from Albert Bushnell Hart School held a walk-a-thon at their school to benefit the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center, an organization which provides information and services for domestic violence and child abuse. The poet-athletes worked throughout the season to get donations from teachers and even their Up2Us coach Adam. Through their efforts, they were able to raise $667.00 for the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center.

provided to them at breakfast and lunch. The students wanted tastier and healthier options, and worked with school cafeteria staff and school administration to come up with ways in which the entire student population can have a voice in the food they are served within the building.


It tasted like poems, The ones you process at night as the sounds of the city jungle put you to sleep. It smelled like food, the food you feast for the king’s ball. It felt like glory, Like winning the battle with Instagram and Facebook. It looked like a contest, where the winner takes it all. I heard laughter, clinking and twitter fingers. Faces filled the room, Old ones and young ones, Voices started to fade like the wind passing through the fields. My heart jumped and my teeth moved My hands shook and my brain jumbled. My mouth smiled and the words came out. They flowed out like lava from a Burmese volcano. All eyes on me. Like the star of the show. I could feel letter forming into words. The words forming into sentences. Flowing in the air filling minds and exploding hearts. RYAN H. 4TH GRADE, MOSCONE ELEMENTARY. SAN FRANCISCO AMERICA SCORES BAY AREA

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My Skin is a Weapon The dictionary says that skin is the covering of our body It comes in many different colors brown, red, yellow, pink and white In the red, white, and blue My beautiful skin becomes a weapon MY SKIN IS A WEAPON My skin is a weapon it is strong and dangerous it confuses ignorant minds My skin is a weapon of mass destruction it shoots down the lies of racism and burns bridges of segregation My skin is a weapon it breaks down walls of injustice and hatred My skin is a weapon it will rip through your minds and leave you speechless You CAN’T DO NOTHING WITH US! LASALLE-BACKUS MS GROUP POEM LASALLE-BACKUS EDUCATION CAMPUS – MIDDLE SCHOOL DC SCORES

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Feelin' Pain There is this pain I feel inside. I can’t describe it. Can’t recognize the pain. The sorrow takes it away. Don’t I deserve a better fate? It’s like a needle piercing through my skin. A huge, sharp pain just like a pin. Oh, wait. I think it couldn’t be, it’s just the vaccine I took this week.

THANDEKA D. 6TH GRADE, DOUGLAS ROAD ELEMENTARY CANADA SCORES VANCOUVER


Personal Nightmares Locked in a cage, bars made with locks of hair, Kids feeling trapped, with emotions of despair, Trapped in a box, functioning like a mime, Lost in a maze, with no sense of time. Hoping that instead of tears, there is a laugh, I’m smiling in your face, but really, I feel like crap, Sometimes feeling empty, covered in sorrow, Hoping that there will be a better tomorrow. Your skin is not paper, so why would you cut it, Sticks and stones breaking bones, oh please..just shut it! Positive influences, help to keep me strong, Thinking you’re never good enough...no young lady... YOU’RE WRONG! IT’S JUST YOUR PERSONAL NIGHTMARE… ISIS B. AMERICA SCORES NEW YORK

Who am I? I am more than first place. I am a winner I am more stronger from the inside than others I am better than smart I am brilliant I am braver than a knight fighting a dragon I am kinder than a bear hugging I am more loving than money which makes you greedy I am creative like a book which has infinity stories I am fear like a kid seeing something infinity scary I am anger from knowing the past took everything I am the only one ever made to just be me I am stronger than all of the infinity stones all together I am more than successful I am victorious I am better than better I am amazing I am me PALMS ELEMENTARY BOYS & GIRLS TEAMS 3RD, 4TH, 5TH GRADE, PALMS ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES LA

Stand with Us We are not afraid Neither should you You should be proud of who you are Don’t be afraid just to be you Show others the real you Who cares about the haters All they do is hate We stand here together to levitate Standing together we’re out of harm’s way Stand with us if you like your skin They call her short They call her tall Whatever they say ain’t stopping her at all She stands up brave She stands up tall She keeps her chin up walking through the hall Let me show you this life There’s no worries at all We are who we are without feelings so small GIRLS TEAM 6TH, 7TH, 8TH GRADE, WHITTIER ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES CHICAGO

Turquoise Turquoise is how I feel when I am so sad. Like when my mom was in a car accident and it made me feel so bad. I saw the accident on the news. It made me feel so miserable and it gave me the blues. Turquoise. NARIAH E. 5TH GRADE, LAFOLLETTE ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES MILWAUKEE

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Q&A

WITH A SOCCER STAR

Kickin' It With Cristian Roldan Cristian is a professional soccer player, currently playing midfielder for the Seattle Sounders FC. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and was drafted 16th overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Recently, he has been training with the United States Men's National Team as they prepare for the 2022 World Cup. Soccer is deeply rooted in his family, as his older brother, Cesar, is a trainer with the LA Galaxy, and his younger brother, Alex, plays alongside Cristian on the Seattle Sounders FC. Cristian is a board member for America SCORES Seattle and loves helping the poet-athletes in the Seattle area find their courage and speak up.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO PLAY PROFESSIONAL SOCCER? Playing professional soccer was always a dream for me and I never thought it would be possible. But with a lot of determination and sacrifice I have been able to achieve everything I have dreamt of and more. Now, I have the opportunity to play a sport that I love while also giving back to the community.

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WHO WERE YOUR ROLE MODELS GROWING UP? WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO NOW? Growing up, I really looked up to Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. They were both players that were smaller than the average soccer player but possessed big skill sets. I am constantly striving to implement their skills into my game so that I can inspire kids like they (Iniesta and Messi) inspired me. Now, I look up to guys like LeBron James who have a killer instinct and are constantly working behind the scenes to perfect their craft.

WHO OR WHAT ENCOURAGES YOU TO PLAY SOCCER? Definitely my family. They encourage me to continue to better myself. I have always played for my parents and my brothers to represent our last name. Along with my family, I also play for myself. It has been my dream to play professional soccer and I enjoy each and every day. The minute you stop enjoying it is the minute you stop getting better, so I enjoy all of it because I know it will better me in the long term.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF WORKING WITH AMERICA SCORES POET-ATHLETES? I have had the pleasure of working and playing with the America SCORES poet-athletes and they always inspire me. Combining academics and the sport is something that I truly love and its really cool to see that these kids care so much about the sport. Playing with the kids is a really cool experience because they want to play soccer and they are never selfish in any way. They wanted to pass me the ball as much as possible and they always had a laugh and smile on their faces.


Photo taken by Lyndsay Radnedge

My biggest advice would be to continue to work hard on and off the field and the sky is the limit. There’s really nothing that you cannot accomplish if you truly believe that you can. You can make something of your life in any way and you have to believe and enjoy the hard work, and the struggle. The academics and the sports go handin-hand and I truly would not be where I am today without both.

ich Photo taken by Jane Gershov

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE AMERICA SCORES POET-ATHLETES TODAY?

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Imagine the birds singing in the morning and the clear water The wind and the animals as they communicate. Feel the breeze, look at the trees…doesn’t it feel wonderful? That’s because you are in nature. Yet we are the very ones that ruin the Earth. If you care about the Earth…Reuse, Reuse, Reuse When you pass trash just pick it up…Don’t Litter. Help the Earth, and don’t pollute! Factories are creating a lot of unhealthy smoke Stop the Factories! Stop them; they will kill our Earth. Stop the pollution and save our Earth! The climate around the world is changing: Hurricanes, Floods and Tsunamis… The fun is as hot as fire in the Amazon Yet where is the snow? Reuse plastic and glass bottles… Make cans into lamps, make glass into windows Make old paper into new paper Whatever you do…Don’t Pollute! MARIE REED GROUP POEM MARIE REED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DC SCORES

If we would be kind We would have a mind To treat mother nature So right and so kind Air is being polluted trees are dying Fruits are not growing And flowers are not blooming Houses are tired The forest is on fire The animals are flying away Trying very hard To live another day Mother nature is sad The fire keeps going Towns are burning If we don’t hurry and make it right... We will destroy it all... By next morning!!!

The sand tickles my feet I am the wind I am the fish I am the wave I am the wind I hear the wave going back and forth I am peace and quiet MARGARITA C. 4TH GRADE AMERICA SCORES SEATTLE

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JOSE L. 4TH GRADE, ER TAYLOR ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES BAY AREA


Roses are red, Violets are not. The Earth is a sunflower, Because it’s getting very hot. Our air is full of sewage, Our water is turning green, Our fish are eating garbage, Why aren’t we doing anything? Our oceans have oil, And plastic, too. Our trash is in the soil, What are we supposed to do?

If I could change the world, I would stop cutting trees. I would stop cutting trees because trees make clean air and if they are all gone, we will all die. I would stop cutting trees because they destroy the habitat for other creatures. I would stop cutting trees because they will go extinct and they will seize to exist. I would stop cutting trees because they are essential for our planet to survive.

Animal cruelty is changing our Earth, Killing all the lions and tigers and bears, Too many animals in a death trap since birth, But we can’t find anyone who cares. Save the animals, save the turtles please, So all the animals can be at ease,

My name is Hugo and if I could change the world I would I would stop cutting trees. HUGO M. 5TH GRADE, BRADDOCK DRIVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AMERICA SCORES LA

And save us, your children, too, So we can grow up in a world where flowers can bloom, Because if the bumblebees go extinct, We will, too. ARTEMUS WARD MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM ARTEMUS WARD MIDDLE SCHOOL AMERICA SCORES CLEVELAND

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Wacky Word Search Can you find all the words we hid in this puzzle? Y

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MICROPHONE PITCH POETRY SCORE

STAGE TEAM

ANSWER KEY ON PAGE 32

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City Word Scramble Can you help us unscramble these five city names? *Hint: the cities are listed on page 3*

ETALSET

HCAGCOI

WUAKLEIEM

L S .T O S I U

LODTPRAN

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That is That In soccer I like scoring, I give the strongest kick to the ball. My coach is not snoring. The referee makes a loud call. I think half-time is boring I just want to play and give it my all. The goalie blocks the shot He is as fast as a cat My cleats hit the ground, SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT I like soccer and that is that! XIMENA M. 5TH GRADE, ALBA ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES MILWAUKEE

The Fun in Soccer I love to play soccer because I can run Dribbling that ball can be oh so much fun. When I get tired I need a quick rest 5 minutes goes by and I'm back to my best. When I communicate with my team We make all our plays just like a dream . I move up the field preparing my shot Kicking the ball hoping it won't get caught. Soaring by, right into the net I think my dad just won his big bet. The game has been won, it was all in good fun. We all line up to be good sports We shake their hands in show of support. To finish the game, we all circle up with a great big cheer, we hold up the cup.

ASHAR

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KIRKBRIDE ELEMENTARY CANADA SCORES VANCOUVER


How to Be Winners We become winner by being good sports. Your friends are always there for support. Being nice and never giving up is something we do. Whether we win or lose, Don’t think you’re lame. Because you are shining stars never be ashamed. We came here today to show our fame. So, you should do the same. Whether you practice kick ups, kick downs or dribble. It’s ok to mess up, just don’t fiddle. Whether it’s basketball, football or golf, Keep practicing and your skills will take off. High up in the sky. We take off like rockets. Because we rock every single time, We are R. G. Jones rare gemstones. Always shining for the best, Until we achieve our goals we will never rest.

CORE GIRLS TEAM ROBINSON G. JONES SCHOOL AMERICA SCORES CLEVELAND

Athletes Paradise Soft grass and a single ball sway in the wind. While parents shout and cheer to their daughter and sons, Itchy shin guards and long socks move as if cheering me on. As the cool water responds to my body, The sweat drop kisses my temples and whispers a sweet champions song to my ears Pens & markers dance with the paper to appreciate our fellow players. Fridays hot sun bring blue skies and loud laughter. Rainbow shirts and alligator shoes fill the fields. Friday soccer is where you’ll find an athlete’s paradise. ISABELLE T. 4TH GRADE, MOSCONE ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES BAY AREA


WORLD HUNGER

BIG PICTURE

People are dying all over the world because of world hunger Families are crying because their kid is in a lot of pain and they do not have the money to pay for their children's care Me my mom and my grandma talk about world hunger and how sad it is to see those people die I said I wish I had enough money so that we could help the people in need My mom and my grandma send down clothes to Jamaica so the people that aren't there can sell the clothes for money So they have money to pay for food and to pay for their child's care Last year me and my soccer team donated some canned food for people in need of food to eat People can also help by donating money to organizations I wish people would help world hunger because people are dying And Nobody wants people to die because of hunger When I finish my poem I want people to remember that i don’t just want to win I really want to talk about world hunger and how people are affected Because world hunger is killing people everywhere NATHAN D.

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4TH GRADE, JOHN F. KENNEDY ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES BOSTON


UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY I care about the community I care about unity I know many people don’t care and some people just stare Many don’t have homes Without something simple like combs Going days without food And people pass by being rude Why do we have to be so mean To people who just want to be seen And need us to create unity In order to build a community CHELSEA G. 5TH GRADE, POWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DC SCORES

THE EARTH IS CHANGING AROUND US

The reason why kids get bullied and commit suicide, The reason why kids yearn for acceptance, There’s so much police brutality, That’s why there’s so much violence.

In Today’s Society, People die from gun violence, it’s really that bad. If we don’t stop it now, everyone is going to go mad. We have to save society before it gets to hectic If not now then it’s going to be expected. In Today’ Society, People believe happiness evolves around money. I love you has lost its meaning. The homeless are searching for shelter. In Today’s Society, It’s a big mess. We black young women should put it to the test. We should show them who is the best. In Today’s Society. WARNER GIRLS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM WARNER GIRLS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY AMERICA SCORES CLEVELAND

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Q&A

WITH A POETRY STAR

Speaking up with Camila Ruiz Camila is an alumnus of America SCORES Chicago and former National Slam poet. Now a junior at Little Village High School, she is captain of her school’s Slam team and hosts Wattz Up, a weekly Yolocalli radio show on 105.5FM. Camila helps mentor America SCORES Chicago poet-athletes, preparing them for upcoming poetry slams!

WHEN DID YOU START WRITING POETRY? The very first poem that I ever wrote was as a third grader for a class assignment– if I’m being honest, it was pretty cheesy but I liked the way I felt when I was writing it. It wasn’t until my first year in SCORES as a 4th grader that I really started writing regularly and got more into the performance aspect. My voice was squeaky and I kind of had a lisp but I really enjoyed funny poems and making people laugh made me feel good. It wasn’t until I was in middle school and started really reflecting on my story that my relationship with poetry changed. I remember going to the Louder than a Bomb (LTAB) semi-finals, the Slam poetry tournament for high school students in Chicago and I was totally blown away by the poems and performances. All I could think was that I wanted

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to write like that and I imagined what it would be like to perform on that stage. I immediately set a goal for myself to make it there and 3 years later, I made it to the semi-finals. This year, I’m captain of my school’s LTAB team, my goal is to make it to the finals.

WHAT ADVICE TO DO YOU HAVE FOR THE AMERICA SCORES POET-ATHLETES? Explore poetry from top to bottom and dig in. “Writers block” is really just you stopping yourself from further exploration of an idea or an issue. Make more room for yourself to explore and learn from other poets. Read everything and don’t limit yourself to one specific genre or content style. And if you see something that you want to write about, don’t hesitate to go for it. Inspiration and ideas are everywhere, look up and pay attention to what’s happening around you. Personally, I love listening to 90s hip-hop & rap to get into a flow.


Little Mexican Girl from the Southside of Chi My roots may have been Planted in the fine land Of Moroleon Guanajuato

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SPREAD KNOWLEDGE OF POETRY TO YOUNG PEOPLE? Poetry is a platform and our voices are important. As a young person, you’ll often find yourself thrown into a system that does not provide you with equal access or representation, but our voices have the power to move, dismantle and remake those systems. The future is us so don’t quiet your revolution to make other people feel more comfortable ­— discomfort is part of the art.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM YOUR TIME AS A POET-ATHLETE? My first Red Carpet Poetry Slam in Chicago. It was the first time I felt my full power as a poet and I fell in love with the stage. I couldn’t believe that I had a room full of adults listening, laughing and hanging on my every word. It felt amazing and my parents were so proud.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF POETRY? The poetry that stops whatever is happening in your head and makes you go "WHOA, they didn’t have to do it, but they did" and it’s contagious, it sticks in your brain and you can’t get it out, it’s part of you now.

Where loud cars are replaced With roaring motorcycles A symphony of culture Where sweaty faces switch to sweating coca cola’s and coronas Para terminar el dia Trabajando en el rancho Where streets are used as soccer fields And places para hablar y Convivere Where La Madrina Lets me steal some Dulces de tamarindo Desde su tiendita But my attitude in Chicago Is a cold fresh sip Of Chicana Where slick sidewalks are replaced with icy raspados Where my Spanish is replaced With broken Spanglish La vivora de mi boca Where pantalones rompidos is a trend and not an accident Where happiness is Right down 26th street This little Mexico del sur de Chicago

CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE

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Stand with Us Valentina hot sauce Flows through my veins Making my heart beat to the rhythm of zapateado My slang comes from the Que Paso And the No Manches From the Ayooooooooooo And the what’s poppin? Where friends Become carnales Who have The first of Gloria I come from the Sana sana Colita de rana The pray before the baby comes pray before the baby comes pray before You enter the school I’m the fresh fruit on your table The callused hands The back bent Aztec migrant The wet back Who needs to Get sent back The revoked Dreamless dreamer I’m the sun sacrificed believer I’m the little Mexican girl from the southside of Chi

Through the wind flying with a breeze From the leaves hanging off the trees There was a girl who had a dream But it was harder than it seemed She wanted to stop the violence in the world But she thought to herself, “I’m just a girl” People judge you, by the way you walk The way you talk The way you dress This hate is mess She thought this is going to a challenge And needed a helping hand By how can I make a difference in this world? Maybe my poem and Inspirational words can I mean-Haven’t we damaged the world enough by creating hate? Instead, Why don’t we gather together to say no to violence?! Wouldn’t that be great? She said a poem on the intercom in school About how bullying is a disgrace After, the people in her school changed their actions They started saying kind words, which they should’ve done in the first place. Through the wind flying with a breeze From the leaves hanging off the trees There was a girl who had a dream But it was starting to get easier, you see Everyone is so used to the news And I always wonder why? They say, “oh that’s happened before” When someone unexpectedly dies Violence seems to be everywhere I don’t know why it’s so common The government and politicians just don’t seem to care Why are Chicagoians, the ones being forgotten? So with your help, let’s take a stand To stop the violence that robs children from becoming women and men If now is not the time, then when? Through the wind flying with a breeze From the leaves hanging off the trees There was a girl who had a dream And I know with your help, she can succeed Why? Because that girl is me!

LILY M.

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4TH GRADE, MASON ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES CHICAGO


Girl Power Girls are powerful too! They can change the world by being leaders challenging society They can probably do more than men This is nothing new We’ve know this since the beginning of time. From Araminta Ross to me We fight for justice Araminta Ross escaped being abused Unhappy that her family and friends were not free She risked her freedom and life to help others In the cover of night she used the Underground Railroad and snuck back into the south Ms. Ross, known to you, as Harriet Tubman dedicated her life to fighting for freedom She was a nurse, a spy and overall a superhero.

You Are Beautiful What are your colors? Red or blue? Green or pink? Purple, yellow, Orange? The color of your skin? The color of your hair? Your eyes? Or is it all of them combined? Is it the blue inside your heart? The red in your veins? Or the gray of your sad eyes? Show your true colors As bright as you can! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! What are your colors? The color of… The sky, the sun, the moon? Or the rainbow inside your heart? I see your awesome colors I see them shining bright I also see the rainbow You carry day and night YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Jumping a century later We find ourselves at the back of the bus A young, defiant African-American Teenager a little bit older than me Refused to give up her seat to a white passenger Claudette Colvin, before Rosa Parks stood her ground She paved the way for others like me. I'm a superhero because I care about my community and try to make changes. I like to protest against unfair treatment of immigrants and racism My family has been struggling to stay in the United States we’ve worked hard to live here I believe that no matter where we come from we all deserve the same treatment! I call my superhero power “human intelligence” I represent being outspoken, honest, brave, a risk-taker, and showing empathy and strength. When I close my eyes, I see the future being brighter than this room I see equal opportunities for everyone Education, employment, housing, food, and healthcare I see an end to racism We all need to join together We can all be superheroes!

KATERIN L. 5TH GRADE, MARIO UMANA ACADEMY AMERICA SCORES BOSTON

PS 173 GIRLS TEAM AMERICA SCORES NEW YORK

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You are someone who fills my life with joy and beauty When I am sad you help me up You are like my friend that will always carry me When I am lost You are the one who makes me who I am today You are my heart

My parents cook me food that’s yummy They give me shelter and the stuff I need So I help them do chores like cleaning and sweeping I care for them because they care for me

You lead me to happiness You help me be the best me

I help my sister and dad and brother I help my tio and tia and mother My family loves me like no other

I will do my best so I will grow up to be just like you Happy, cheerful and the best I can be I love you dad

I care for them because they care for me They take me to school They take me home too They take me to parks They make me feel good

JOEL R. AMERICA SCORES NEW YORK

I care for my family because they care for me Family and friends are all that I need When I am with them, we are all happy I care for my family because they care for me. BOYS AND GIRLS TEAMS 3RD, 4TH, 5TH GRADE, MCCORMICK ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES CHICAGO

Some days her headaches come and go Somedays her migraines stay I watch momma laugh, shot, cry, and scream I watch momma dance and sing I watch momma cook and clean She always tells me to be heard and seen She teaches me everything VICTORIA D. 5TH GRADE, BROWNING ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES MILWAUKEE

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She is adventurous as a plane She’s friendly like a bee And drinks her tea Over the sea And when I’m free, I help her with her bad knee She’s as passionate as a dolphin When she sings She’s as brave as a cheetah And will eat what they give ya

My family means the world to me. My family lifts me of my feet. When I frown, they turn it upside down. My family loves me through and through, So much love, I don’t know what to do. TERRELL A. 6TH GRADE, LUCAS CROSSING BETTER FAMILY LIFE ST. LOUIS

She loves to fly Will help my brother with his tie She hates saying goodbye She loves Christmas When she sits down for nutmeg And she loves to take pictures of us on Sundays She is friendly as a soft comfy bed Where I like to lay my head She is my great grandma Bibi AVERIONNA W. 5TH GRADE AMERICA SCORES SEATTLE

I love you just like a dove When I look at you My eyes shine bright and don’t give me a fright You never let me down or give me a frown You are the best, Your love makes me want to build a nest. My life without you would be a fright I see you everyday and you’re never away I will love you forever even when we might not be together You’ll be here everyday throughout the way You are the main person in my life and you’ll always be my shining light. ISABELLA C. 4TH GRADE, ER TAYLOR ELEMENTARY AMERICA SCORES BAY AREA

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GREATNESS GROWS HERE Thank you to the Embassy of the State of Qatar for supporting America SCORES! See you in 2022!

THANK YOU GANNETT FOUNDATION for making our Regional and National Poetry Slams possible!

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Thank you Hunt4Soccer for your continued support of our America SCORES poet-athletes www.Hunt4Soccer.com


The Power of Children’s Poetry Volkswagen Group of America continues to be a proud supporter of America SCORES and DC SCORES and recognizes each and every talented participant. We’re a good partner on the roads, and in our community.

volkswagengroupamerica.com

FactSet is proud to support America SCORES and its talented poet-athletes!

Proud supporter of 29 America SCORES


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Columbia Secondary School Hamilton Grange Middle School IS 104 The Fort Hamilton School IS 121 Nelson A Rockefeller IS 95 The Gravesend School MS 218 Whedco MS 322 The Renaissance Leadership Academy MS 324 Patria Mirabal School MS 363 The Academy for Personal Leadership and Excellence MS 443 New Voices School of Academic and Creative Arts New Design Middle School PS 04 The Duke Ellington School PS 125 The Ralph Bunche School PS 139 Alexine A Fenty PS 153 Adam Clayton Powell PS 173 PS 192 Jacob H Schiff PS 249 The Caton School PS 375 The Jackie Robinson School PS 382 Elementary School for Math, Science, and Technology PS 386 School for Environmental Citizenship PS 66 School of Higher Expectations PS 98 Shorac Kappock PSMS 161 Pedro Albizu Campos The Mott Hall School

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NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

HONORARY BOARD

Corwin Thomas

Miranda Jones

Peter Galvin

BOARD CHAIR MARSH & MCLENNAN

BETTER FAMILY LIFE

Glenn Gray

KC SOCIAL IMPACT LAB

VICE-CHAIR BUFFALO GROUPE

Brendan Moylan

Fabian Koss Holly O’Donnell

Gale Griffin Bob Shay

BAZELON CENTER

TREASURER SPORTS ENDEAVORS, INC.

Cy Richardson

Douglas Boggs

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MANATT, PHELPS, & PHILLIPS, LLC

AMERICA SCORES BAY AREA

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IPC

WHITECOAT STRATEGIES

NATIONAL LEADERSHIP

AFFILIATE LEADERSHIP

Bethany Rubin Henderson

BAY AREA

MILWAUKEE

Jon Denholtz

Kate Carpenter

Colin Schmidt

NEW YORK

PRESIDENT AMERICA SCORES NATIONAL NETWORK

Shannon Schneeman

CHAIR AMERICA SCORES LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

Sean Hinkle

PROGRAM DIRECTOR AMERICA SCORES NATIONAL NETWORK

NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE

BOARD CHAIR

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BOSTON

COMMUNICATIONS FELLOW AMERICA SCORES NATIONAL NETWORK

John Maconga

PORTLAND

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joel Newman BOARD CHAIR

Matthew Raino

Kimberly Bergstrom

Amy Mummery

SEATTLE

BOARD CHAIR

CLEVELAND

Abigail McCubbin

BOARD CHAIR

Shannon Schneeman

BOARD CHAIR

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

DESIGNED & EDITED BY

Adam Freeman

David Chang

CHICAGO

Abigail McCubbin

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lorelei Heisler BOARD CHAIR

Lyle Leavitt

Samuel Perlin

Debra Pence-Meyenberg

ST. LOUIS

BOARD CHAIR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DC

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Malik Ahmed BOARD CHAIR

Bruce D. Schulman

Miranda Jones

Bethany Rubin Henderson

VANCOUVER

BOARD CHAIR CEO LA

David Shaheen BOARD CHAIR

Geoff Wilson

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Jon Lutz

BOARD CHAIR

Kevin Yang

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


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