December 17, 2009

National Poetry Slam Auditions

Yesterday was definitely a nerve racking day for some of our SCORES students.  22 poets from four schools performed at Starbucks yesterday to compete for a spot in the national Poetry Slam scheduled to be held in New York on April 19th.  On January 8th we will announce which boy and girl will have the honor of performing with SCORES students from across the U.S., but for now, here are a few of the poems that were presented yesterday afternoon.  Enjoy!

I come from...

I come from Soccer.  I come from amazing, wow!
I come from smart.  I come from music.
I come from videogames and basketball.
I come from sweet.  I come from kindness.
I come from joyous.  I come from roses and daisies.
I come from weird.  I come from a cuckoo and peaceful life.
Those are the things I come from.

By Janet G.
Cowell Elementary

Candle

Without you candle the world would be dark.
I need your fire, I need your spark.
You're on my birthday cake to remind me how old I am.
Sometimes you smell like chocolate, sometimes you smell like jam.
You're there when the power goes out,
so people don't have to cry and pout.
You're there to sent the air, by the window forever your glare.
People don't have to worry because you, candle, will always be there!

By Daeja R.
Cowell Elementary

Acrostic TEAM

Together we will achieve.
Everywhere we go we will win.
Again we will try.
More we practice, the more we are going to win.

By Luis P
Barnum Elementary

Shell

Shell, you have beautiful colors.
You sound like the ocean.
You say words and I cannot describe them.
Ocean words.
Your words sound so peaceful.
You poke my hand when I hold you.
Swirls on top.
Say Something.
Say your words, the ocean way.
Ocean words.

By Adrianna C.
Cowell Elementary

The Pencil

I've turned into a pencil.  People at Barnum are writing with me.  And it's hurting my head. Ahhhh!  Now he is erasing with my legs.  Hey!  Stop that.  It's hurting my legs.  Please stop swinging me.  Hey!  Something is cutting my head.  Finally I am out.  But where is my head?

By Javier L.
Barnum Elementary

The Soul

The heart. The peace.
The liberty. The brain.
The body just for me.
My soul will tell me what to do.
You can do the same for you.
The fights. The cries.
Just hurt my mind.
Fight for justice, liberty, peace.
We will always find a way to keep you safe.
That's the name.

By Ashley E.
Eagleton Elementary

December 8, 2009

Can you do this?

In light of the 2010 World Cup Draw which happened last Friday in South Africa, I wanted to share with you all a video that highlights some of the best goals in soccer history.  I invite you take a minute on this freezing cold Colorado day to be entertained by some great soccer.

December 3, 2009

10 in 2010!

Please help us reach our goal of beginning SCORES programming in two additional schools next Fall.  Your support enables us to continue reaching and inspiring the urban youth of Denver.  Click on the "Donate Now" icon found on the right side of the page, or send us a check to 4900 W 29th Ave, Denver, CO, 80212.  All donations made are tax deductible.  Thank you in advance for your continued support.


December 1, 2009

The "Off Season Debate"

Because our SCORES off-season is just beginning, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss a highly talked about issue of whether coaches and athletes benefit from an off-season.  Responsible Sports, a program which supports volunteer youth coaches and parents, recently published an article on whether parents and coaches should insist on an off-season.  They argue that both sides of the debate offer valuabe advice: 

"On the side advocating for an off-season are those parents and coaches who point to examples of young athletes suffering burnout, or worse, injury, as a result of too much activity.

On the other side, the argument about avoiding specialization at an early age leads many of us to enroll our kids in many sports as they seek to “sample” what’s out there. And how can you sample and experience new sports, different teams with different teammates and coaches, if you don’t embrace the idea of playing in multiple sports seasons? Add to that, the arguments and very real data that supports everything from better health to better grades to better esteem when kids play sports. If we embrace all of these wonderful outcomes from a youth sports experience, shouldn’t we give our kids the maximum exposure to all of this “goodness”?"

Obviously, this is a debate that will not be soon be solved, but it is good food for thought.

Please enjoy this video from Responsible Sports which talks about the "ELM Tree of Mastery".

November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...and a little hip hop too

The staff here at America SCORES Denver would like to take this time and wish everybody a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the beautiful weather, the delicious food, and before you go home for the holidays sit back, and enjoy some amazing dancing. 



Send your own ElfYourself eCards

November 19, 2009

Pictures from the Poetry Slam!

They are finally here!  Pictures from this year's poetry slam can now be viewed by CLICKING HERE.  They may also be found on our facebook fan page.  These were all taken by one of our SCORES volunteers, Mr. Chris Richardson, and we would like to give a huge thanks to all those who helped put on this event.

Just a few reminders:
1.  T-shirts may still be ordered online...get them while you still can! (a design of the t-shirt can be found under the October 15th blog)
2.  If you have not done so already, please join our Facebook Cause: Support Urban Poet-Athletes.  We need your help to spread the word about this incredible program.

And now, for a little preview of some of the Poetry Slam pictures...




November 17, 2009

Puzzle Time!!

Thats right, it's puzzle time....and the time to beat is 5:22.  With the season now over, and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I thought it was time for some fun and games.  The picture is a little harder, so be prepared to be challenged.  And if your puzzle skills somehow beat our office time, please comment and let us know how you did.

Click to Mix and Solve

November 13, 2009

Inside of me...I hear music

In order to keep celebrating our incredible Fall Season, I thought it would be appropriate to share some select poems from Tuesday's Poetry Slam.  Is is no question that the level of talent in this years poets was outstanding, and I wish I could share every students amazing performance.  However, you will have to settle for this little peek into the talent from the night...

Inside of me, I hear Music
Janet G., Cowell Elementary

Inside of me, I hear music. The kinds of instruments I hear inside of me are guitars, electric guitars, and other kinds of instruments. The kinds of music I like is hip hop, techno, and heavy metal. The music in me describes how I act, how I live, and how my feelings feel. But my song is not the only song. Sometimes I hear other people singing along with me. Inside of me I hear a strong beat. I hear my auntie that is in Mexico singing with me. Inside of me, my song is strong.

I Remember
Destinee Q., Cheltenham Elementary

Yo me recuerdo cuando no tenia
ganas de hacer nada como nada

I remember what I was supposed
To remember then I remembered
My remembers
Then I remembers my remembers
Then all of a sudden a new remember
Came, my baby brother was my new
Remember

Me recuerdo cuando tenia gands de recordarme
De me vida pero bo me requerda de mi

Scorpions
Andree C., Cheltenham Elementary

We are the scorpions the poisonous scorpions
We came to play and have fun how about you
We got sportsmanship how about you
We got leadership how about you
We got commitment how about you
We are the Scorpions who are you

November 11, 2009

Highlights from 10th Annual Poetry Slam

Last night our SCORES students performed in front of a very full house at the Oriental Theatre.  The night was a huge success thanks to the hard work that each poet and coach put into their performance.  The energy in the room was incredible, and we would like to give a huge thanks to our volunteers, as well as our MC's, Matt Zambrano and Biko, for adding such enthusiasm to the stage.  Below is a video of the slideshow that was shown during the middle of the program, so if you were unable to attend last nights show, check it out.  It features pictures of each team in action.

If you were unable to purchase your America SCORES Denver T-shirt after last nights event, they are still available online.  CLICK HERE to get yours today!

November 5, 2009

Words of Wisdom

We would like to take some time and give a big thanks to all of the coaches who have put their time and energy into our program this season.  Their dedication and hard work truly impacts and inspires SCORES students, and none of this would be possible without them.  At the beginning of the year, we ask each coach to fill out some short interview questions about themselves, and we would like to highlight each coach by sharing with you their words of wisdom. (Some coaches may not be listed)

"It only takes one person to change your life....YOU!"
"Never settle for less than your best"
          -Amy Olivas, Barnum Elementary
"Stay focused, do your  job, and do it to the best of your ability"
         -Julio Olivas, Barnum Elementary
"Laughing is always the best medicine!"
         -Gretchen Hegener Rech, Brown Elementary
"Effort and positive attitude will take you far"
         -Amanda Kay Swift, Brown Elementary
"Honesty will take you far in life"
        -Barbara Marcus, Brown Elementary
"It doesn't matter when you cross the finish line as long as you cross it"
        -Laura Sandoval, Cheltenham Elementary
"Always think outside of yourself and give back to the community in a positive way"
        -Theresa McGuire, Cowell Elementary
"Look for the people around you that will make good choices and will help you make good choices"
"Seek out adults that can support you when you are struggling"
"Respect the people around you, and they will respect you"
       -Alyse Hirschhorn, Cowell Elementary
"Be the best you can be, and feel proud of yourself"
       -Leticia Rodriguez
"Quitters never win.  Winners never quit.  Remember this, especially when you're playing soccer"
       -Chris Webb, Eagleton Elementary
"Good, better, best.  Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best!"
       -Amanda Webb, Eagleton Elementary
"It's ok to not know something and it's ok to ask questions"
"Failure leads to success"
       -Nancy Lytle, Knapp Elementary
"Live life to it's fullest"
       -Autumn Brown, Munroe Elementary
"Never give up even when you feel you can't go anymore.  Always know the sun will shine after the storm"
       -Luis Munoz, Newlon Elementary
"Find something that motivates you, and never be afraid to make mistakes because it's the best way to learn"
       -Sarah Kohler, Newlon Elementary

November 3, 2009

Mark Your Calendars...

Sadly, the end of the fall season is upon us...but fear not because with the end of the season comes our much anticipated Poetry Slam!  Our students and coaches have all been working vigorously on their poetry performances, and it should be a night to remember.  The event will be held a week from today on Tuesday, November 10th at the Oriental Theatre (4335 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO, 80212).  America SCORES Denver T-Shirts will be available at the event, so don't foret to plan accordingly.  We hope to see you there.


October 29, 2009

Soccer Becomes More Than a Game

In celebration of our last game of the season last Friday, as well as this incredibly snowy fall break for DPS schools, I thought it was appropriate to share an inspiring article for a little light reading.


In light of our last Fall season game, half way across the world the Palestine women's soccer team was celebrating their first ever international match played at home.  They were playing Jordan in front of a roaring croud of 10,000 people, three quarters women and a quarter men.  Women were bussed in from all over the West Bank, where the stadium was located, and hundreds more were watching from neighboring rooftops.  For a sport that has been reserved exclusively for male players, this was certainly a monumental event, one that turned into a "carnival of social liberation and national pride".  The youngest player on the team was just 14 years old, and the team started out the match as extreme under-dogs.  Palestine is ranked one of the lowest countries in the world, while Jordan is ranked 51st.  However, the game ended symbolically in a 2-2 draw.

If you would like to read more about this historic event, please visit NY Times, or this local newspaper of Palestine. 

I also encourage you to watch this inspiring video showcasing footage from the game.

October 27, 2009

My Soul and Other Poems

We have recieved another batch of very creative and fun poems.  A big thanks to Amanda Webb, girls soccer and writing coach at Eagleton Elementary, for sending these to us.

My Soul

My soul is a horse
racing on a track
through the woods.

My soul is a mean
as a shark
in the waters.

My soul is a gentle
as a flower
in the open.

My soul is as nice
as a rabbit
hopping in the grass.

My soul is as pretty
as a butterfly
flying in the sky.

My soul is as cold
as freezing cold waters.

My soul is a hard
as a garden
in winter.
-Miranda Torres

Why

Why am I so pretty?
Because my mom made me.
Why do I like hearts?
Because I am full of love.
-Hoshi Corona

Untitled

The world is as big as the universe.
The life was as a newborn baby is bright.
The light was as bright as my dreams.
The store was as big as a castle.
The baby was a big as a little bear.
The sun was a far as a star.
The Converse was a cool as the Jordan's.
-Ashley Espinoza

October 22, 2009

SCORES Kids vs. CSAP

It has been a couple of months since all Colorado students participated in the much anticipated CSAP evaluation test.  However, we have yet to report on how the students at our schools performed, and how SCORES kids compared to their peers.  Below is a breakdown of the overall results from our eight schools.



One of our dedicated coaches, Chris Webb, examined how SCORES kids from four schools compared to the rest of their classmates, and found that the test scores of SCORES students, as an average, were higher in all four schools than the test scores of the rest of the student population.  The SCORES students scored an average of 24 points higher on the reading exam, and 14 points higher on the writing exam.  Here are some statistics from Eagleton Elementary specifically:

EAGLETON ELEMENTARY READING:

- Not a single student in the (Eagleton) Denver SCORES program tested unsatisfactory. All of them were judged partially proficient, proficient, or advanced.
- 29 out of the 32 kids in (Eagleton) SCORES improved their reading scores.
- 8 of the 32 kids moved from unsatisfactory to partially proficient/proficient.
- Average reading test score for those involved in (Eagleton) SCORES was 18 out of a possible 31 points (58%)
- Average reading test score for the rest of the school was 12 out of a possible 31 points (38%)
- Students who were in (Eagleton) SCORES showed a 20% improvement in their reading test scores vs. the rest of the school.

EAGLETON ELEMENTARY WRITING:

- 31 out of 32 kids in (Eagleton) SCORES were tested partially proficient/proficient in their writing. Only 1 student tested unsatisfactory.
- 24 out of 32 kids in (Eagleton) SCORES improved their writing scores.
- 8 of the 32 kids moved from unsatisfactory to partially proficient/proficient.
- Average writing test score for those involved in (Eagleton) SCORES was 13 out of a possible 21 points (62%)
- Average writing test score for the rest of the school was 9 out of a possible 21 points (43%)
- Students who were in (Eagleton) SCORES showed a 19% improvement in their writing test scores vs. the rest of the school.

Congrats to all of our SCORES students for the great improvement, and keep up the hard work!

October 20, 2009

Bet you can't beat a time of....

I know it is not hump day Wednesday yet, but because of the cloudy weather today, I thought that we could all use a little break.  So, I have created a fantastic way for you to spend some time, and stimulate your mind while doing it.  Just click on the puzzle below to start the fun...and try to beat our office record time of 5 minutes and 23 seconds.

Also, online ordering of our America SCORES t-shirt is now available.  CLICK HERE to order yours today.  A design can be seen below on last weeks post.

Click to Mix and Solve

October 15, 2009

The Moment You Have All Been Waiting For....

With the sylistic and creative efforts of the America SCORES Denver staff, we have designed a one-of-a-kind SCORES t-shirt that is soon to be the must have item for your closet.  Below is a template of the design.  As you can see, the front of the shirt has our logo on it (very stylish), and the back has the phrase "futbol + poesia = alegria"...or "soccer + poetry = happiness" (very catchy).  We are printing them both on white shirts and navy...so take your pick.

T-shirts will be sold next Friday at our last game day, as well as during our Poetry Slam on November 10.  We will also have link up soon to buy them online, so be on the look out.

October 13, 2009

Larimer Arts Festival


We are proud to announce the upcoming of the second annual Larimer Sidewalk Arts Festival taking place on Saturday October 17th from 9AM - 4PM.  Now, you may be thinking...I thought SCORES was a soccer and writing program...and you're right.  But we want to encourage all types of creative expression and would like to invite our poet-athletes to take part in this exciting opportunity.

The festival is an open-air celebration of arts created by young people sponsored in part by Flobots.org.  The event is welcome to all artists ages 12-21, but the program directors at flobots.org have actually given us special permission to let our SCORES kids participate.  All artists are invited to show and sell their art with all proceeds going to benefit each individual artist.  It should be a fun filled afternoon with local bands and DJ's scheduled throughout the day, so even if you don't have art to showcase, it will be a great way to spend your Saturday. 

If you would like to participate, please contact Loy Merck at 303.587.1029.  Or if you have any questions about the details of the day, please email krees@americascores.org, and I will get you in contact with the appropriate person.  We look forward to seeing you there.

One last thing....there are more amazing pictures up of the game day last Friday, so CLICK HERE to be amazed

October 8, 2009

Yesterday, my Name was Soccer

We have finally gotten to the point in the season where our students are beginning to come up with some very original and creative writing.  Today, I wanted to share with you some poems from the boy's team at Eagleton Elementary.  Special thanks to Chris, their coach, for sharing these with us.

Today, my name is Grant Wood.
I like ice cream.
I play soccer all day.

Yesterday, my name was soccer.
I like macaroni and cheese.
I read books.

Tomorrow, my name will be backpack.
I lick the floor.
I eat crayons.
-Adrian, grade 4

Defense is the key to the game.
Effort is what we’re looking for.
No slacking off in the game.
Venture to the other side of the field.
Every game needs defense.
Really try your hardest.

Soccer is an easy game.
Carry your teammates to victory.
Organize a plan for soccer.
Recognize your team.
Energize your game plan.
Soccer balls are used for a soccer game.
-Jacob, grade 5

If I crashed on the moon, I will bring a big water bottle so that I could drink on the way.
I will also bring food to eat on the way.
I will also bring a flashlight so that I could see the dark side of the moon.
-Kevin, grade 5

Also, as promised, please CLICK HERE to look at pictures from last weekends Fall Frenzy.  Pictures may also be viewed on our Facebook fan page.

Speaking of Facebook...don't forget to help support SCORES by joining our cause.  CLICK HERE to join!

October 6, 2009

Fall Frenzy 2009 = Success!


Last Saturday was definitely a fun-filled and successful day for our 250 poet-athletes, their coaches, and of course, their families.  After a sunny morning full of soccer games, book give-aways, and face painting, the field was all smiles as people were leaving to go home.

We would like to give a very special thanks to the Regis University Girls Soccer team for helping out with the event by setting up the fields, reffing each game, and for their artistic talent at the face painting booth.  We could not have put on this event without their help.

As you can see, I have included a few feature pictures from the day, but be on the look out for more...




October 2, 2009

Will you Spread the Word?



With the world of social networking growing at unremarkable rates, it is time that America SCORES Denver jumps on the bandwagon.  Trends in 2009 show that social networking sites and blogs are more popular and more widely used than personal email, accounting for nearly 10% of all internet time.  In fact, research has shown that if the number of people using facebook made up the population of a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, ahead of Japan, Russia, and Nigeria (HERE for more information).

So, you may be asking, what is America SCORES Denver going to do to stay connected to this growing cyber world?  Well, I'll tell you; we are going to start a wave of activism in the Facebook country by creating a cause named......SUPPORT URBAN POET ATHLETES.  In order for this wave of activism to start, we need your help by joining and supporting our cause, and also by recruiting your family and friends to do the same. 

Steps to Join:

(1)  CLICK HERE to be taken directly to our cause page.  If you have a facebook page, you will need to sign in with your user name and password.  Then, simply select "join now".  During the process you will get to a step which asks you to invite friends to join; don't simply skip over this step, we need you to spread the word.

(2)  You can also search for our cause by going to applications feature on the bottom of your facebook page, selecting causes, and then searching for "Support Urban Poet Athletes".

(3)  If you are not a facebook user, and thus not a part of the Facebook Country...do not worry.  I am sure that somebody you know has an account and can help you recruit.

Thank you again for all of your continued support.

September 29, 2009

The Swine Flu is No Match for SCORES


The SCORES season is well underway.  We had a great game day on Friday, and a special apperance from Futbol Kingdom at the Munroe vs. Cheltenham match up made the day extra exciting. 

With the weather changing, and germs slowly filling the classroom, now is a very important time to keep our poet athletes healthy and energized.  Swine flu scares have been filling the newsrooms, and "washing your hands" commercials have been running rampant around Denver.  But do not fear, for there are a few myths about Swine Flu which I am about to disclose to you so that you can know the truth and can keep your families and athletes healthy...(for more information please visit HERE)

Myth #1:  Swine flu is much worse than seasonal flu - FALSE
   So far, the swine flu hasn't shown signs of being more powerful than the seasonal flu, but it is slightly more contagious.  Part of this reason is that most people don't have any immunity to swine flu, unlike other season flu strains to which we may have been exposed to before.

Myth #2:  Young, healthy people shouldn't worry about catching the Swine Flu - FALSE
   Unlike seasonal flu which has the most serious health effects in people older than 65, 75% of serious Swine Flu cases and 60% of deaths have occured in people younger than 49.  In fact, 1/3 of adults over 60 have a pre-existing immunity to the H1N1 strain which may be due to a similar strain being present during their childhood.

Myth #3:  The flu vaccine can cause the flu - FALSE
    Flu shots are made with dead strains of the virus, which means they can't replicate.  While you can get swelling and achiness at the injection site and a low-grade fever, this is just how some peoples' bodies respond to the vaccine.  They are not symptoms of the flu, only a minor side effect of getting the shot.

Myth #4:  It's better to get the flu than get vaccinated - FALSE
    The problem with the flu is that there is no way to tell how a person will respond to the infection.  The risk of side effects from the flu vaccine is very low, and right now the risk of contracting the flu is very high.

Myth #5:  If you get the Swine Flu, go to the ER - FALSE
    If you get a mild case of the Swine Flu, the best thing to do is stay home and treat the symptoms (take a fever/pain reducer, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and get plenty of rest and fluids).  A trip to the ER will only end up exposing more people to the infection.  However if you start having complications such as difficulty breathing, pain in chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, or severe vomiting, you should see your doctor right away.

Myth #6:  You should go back to work once you feel better - FALSE
    Experts urge Swine Flu sufferers to stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever goes away without using fever-reducing meds.

And there you have it...stay healthy out there!

September 24, 2009

Fall Frenzy Meets Round Robin...


With snow now in the daily forecast, it has become apparent that Fall season has hit Denver.  And with the beginning of Fall marks the date for the our yearly round robin tournament...the Fall Frenzy!  On Saturday, October 3rd, our poet athletes will hit the Regis University field in a morning filled with soccer and hopefully not snow.

The question of the day is where did the term "round robin" come from.  Well, fret no longer because I am about to reveal the secret to the origin of this wonderful phrase.  According to the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson, the round robin was originally a petition, its signatures arranged in a circular form to disguise the order of signing.  The original phrase was "ruban rond" or "round ribbon" stemming from 17th-century France where government officials devised a method of signing their petitions on ribbons that were attached to the documents in a circular form.  This way no signer could be accused of being the ring leader of the grievance, and risk having his head chopped off.  How a phrase originally describing peition signing formed into a sports term is something that I do not have the answer to...but if you have the secret to this little known connection we would love for you to reveal it to us.

September 22, 2009

Exercise that Makes you Smarter


The correlation between exercise and health has been a hot topic of research now for over a decade.  Ten years ago scientists at the Salk Institute in California published a ground-breaking study that linked exercise to the stimulation of new brain cells.  Since then, publications on the benefits of exercise have become hugely popular.  In fact, typing "benefits of exercise" into a google browser yields over 6 million hits.  Exercise benefits include improving your mood, helping to manage your weight, combating chronic disease, boosting your energy level, promoting better sleep, and above all...it's fun!

The fundamental question that scientists have been asking themselves is what kind of exercise is the most beneficial to a person's cognitive health.  The options are endless - yoga, weight lifting, running, bull riding - but recently researchers have tried to tackle this seemingly unanswerable question.  And what, you may ask, has been found to be the exercise that makes you smarter.....running.  It is thought that aerobic activity, such as running, has the ability to pump blood into areas of the brain that in turn start molecular cascades that create new neuron and brain connections.  The dramatic change in blood flow that occurs during aerobic activity is, in some ways, making you smarter.  So, get on your running shoes (or soccer cleats), and do your body...and mind...a favor.

For more information on this incredible and fascinating topic, please visit the NY Times

September 17, 2009

Brandon for the next Healthiest Executive Director!



That's right, our one and only Brandon Blew, Executive Director of SCORES, is competing to be the be Colorado's next Healthiest Executive.  This award is part of a nation-wide program that recognizes male and female senior leaders who model healthy lifestyles and promote health and wellness in their organization and community.  There are a few criteria that nominees are judged on, and we need your help in ensuring that Brandon makes it to the top.  Here's how you can help:

1.  CLICK HERE to support Brandon by racing in the Best of the Boardroom 5K on October. 15th, 2009.  The event will take place at Cherry Creek State Park.  If for some reason you are unable to race in this event, or if racing really isnt your thing, you have the option of running a unique virtual 5K.  To be a 'Virtual 5K' participant, visit runningmap.com, or mapmyrun.com to find a running route that you can then run on your own time - this is a great opportunity to get your friends and family involved!  Before Oct. 14th, register as a virtual 5K racer, complete your individual 5K, and post your results.  During registration as an actual or virtual 5K runner, be sure to select Brandon Blew as the next Healthiest Executive.

2.  You can also vote for Brandon online.  Online voting will not begin until after race day, so be on the look out for more details.

September 15, 2009

Futbol Kingdom

Exciting news!  The performers of Futbol Kingdom will once again be visiting our SCORES classrooms.  Now, many of you might be asking yourself...what is Futbol Kingdom?  A year ago, the Burger King Corportation partnered with a soccer entertainment group called Soccer Showdown.  Soccer Showdown is an internationally renowned organization focused on freestyle soccer, with a mission to continuously offer innovative and creative concepts within the soccer industry.  Soufiani and Kenan, the two creators of free style soccer are the cornerstone of the performance.  Their moves might not be as good as some of our SCORES athletes, but they sure are close...check out some highlights below.

September 10, 2009

Nothing That We Can't Do

I have found another wonderful song presented to us by the students at Obadiah Knight Elementary school with the help of singer/songwriter David Rice.  It is very catchy, and I promise that you will find yourself smiling and singing to it for the rest of the day. 

We have our first game day tomorrow, so I wanted to give you guys the schedule just in case you wanted to get in on the action:
     Cheltenham @ Eagleton
     Brown @ Barnum
     Newlon @ Munroe
     Knapp @ Cowell

Be on the the look out for work from our Denver SCORES students, and enjoy watching a little soccer in the mean time...


September 8, 2009

American Poet Comes to SCORES Classrooms

It is with great enthusiasm that America SCORES Denver welcomes Jack Collom, famous poet, teacher, and essayist, into our eight schools for our Fall 2009 season.  Jack has published over 17 books of poetry including Red Car Goes By and Arguing with Something Plato Said, and is the editor of three collections of writing by children. 

Jack was born in Chicago, and received his BA and MA from the University of Colorado.  He has been a free-lance teacher (mostly as Poet-in-the-Schools) for the last 25 years, and teaches part time at Naropa University.  Currently he resides in Boulder, CO, his adopted hometown, where they have recently declared and celebrated a "Jack Collom Day".

Tomorrow marks his first day in the classroom for this upcoming season, and we look forward to his contribution to the SCORES program.

For more information on Jack Collom, please visit these websites:
http://www.durationpress.com/tuumba/collom.htm
http://www.bigbridge.org/Issue2/Text/Bios/Collom_Bio.html

September 3, 2009

This Land is Your Land

I would now like to take this time to introduce you to the vocal stylings of the students of Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C... 

America SCORES has recently partnered with the ASCAP Foundation (American Society of Composers, Authors and Pubishers) in an effort to bring local artists into SCORES classrooms to transform poems into songs.  So far SCORES programs in Dallas, Chicago, Bay Area, New England, and D.C. have been able to take advantage of this program, and it is our hope this year that local artists in Denver will be able to work in our schools.  Be on the look out as our SCORES kids take on the music industry...

This Land is Your ...

September 1, 2009

What is Poetry

Tomorrow is the big day...Our eight schools are all geared up, over 25 passionate coaches are ready to hit the field, and 256 students are ready to join their new teams.  Before we get started, I thought it would be good to begin the season with the big question...what is poetry?  Last year at the National Poetry Slam where two of our SCORES students Fidel and Nayeli had the chance to perform, participants were asked the same question.  Watch the video below to find out the answer to the never ending question...what is poetry? 

August 27, 2009

Fall Season Begins!

We are all starting to feel it...days are getting shorter, the sun isn't quite as hot in the Rockies, and school bells are beginning to ring.  And we all know that with the end of summer comes the start of the America SCORES Denver Fall 2009 season!  Next Wednesday our SCORES kids will be getting on their shin guards and returning to the soccer field.  The staff here in Denver would like to welcome our new and returning schools and teachers to the program.  This season we have eight schools participating, and we would like to thank our coaches in advance for all the support they give to our SCORES kids...none of this would be possible without you.

Our schools and coaches this season include:
     Amy Olivas - Girls Writing/Soccer Coach
     and School Liaison
     Julio Olivas - Boys Writing/Soccer Coach
    
     Barbara Shanahan - Girls Soccer Coach
     Kate Tynan - Girls Soccer Coach    
     Amanda Rumfelt - Girls Writing Coach
     Greg Toston - Boys Soccer Coach
     Kevin Netzel - Boys Writing Coach
     Gretchen Rech - School Liaison    
     Alberto Salazar - Boys Writing/Soccer Coach
     Laura Sandoval - Girls Writing Coach
     Leticia Rodriquez - Girls Soccer Coach
        
     Theresa McGuire - Girls Soccer Coach
     and School Liaison
     Alyse Hirschorn - Girls Writing Coach
     Roberto Martinez - Boys Soccer Coach
     Laticia Rodriguez - Boys Writing Coach
     Amanda Webb - Girls Writing/Soccer
     Coach    
     Chris Webb - Boys Writing/Soccer Coach
     and School Liaison
     Lauren Landon - Girls Soccer Coach    
     Linda Bautista - Girls Writing Coach
     Charlie Estanga - Boys Soccer Coach
     Nancy Lytle - Boys Writing Coach
     Kathy Mendez - School Liaison

Munroe Elementary (no website listed)
     Stephanie Dickinson - Girls Soccer Coach
     Michelle Delgado - Girls Writing Coach
     Amber Deakyne - Boys Soccer Coach
     Chris Winslow - Boys Writing Coach
     Nanci Campbell - School Liaison
     Carolyn McCrary - Girls Soccer Coach
     Sarah Kohler - Girls Writing Coach
     Luis Munoz - Boys Writing/Soccer
     Coach
     Vicky Garcia - School Liaison

Continue to be on the look out for updates from each of these great schools...we hope the season is filled with excitement. 

August 25, 2009

Are you immune to marketing?

It is no question that obesity is, and will continue to remain a problem in the U.S. Just last year the obesity rates increased in 23 states, and did not decrease in any (Trust for America's Health). In addition, the precentage of overweight children is at or above 30% in 30 states.

A year ago these trends in child obesity could be linked to the marketing of food. In 2006 the Federal Trade Commission found that food companies spent$1.6 billion to market their products to children and teenagers. The biggest market spender was the makers of carbonated beverages, followed by fast food restaurants and the producers of cereal. Because of this enormous expenditure, and the effects that it had on child health, companies are now rethinking their marketing policies. Campbell Soup, General Mills and Kellogg are no longer marketing to kids under six. Burger King, and Hershey are no longer marketing to kids under twelve. Many companies have even restricted marketing to food that is nutritionaly adequate to children (Center for Science in the Public Interest).


To see the incredibe effects of marketing, I challenge you to take the Packaged Food Mascots Memory Test by clicking on the link below. You'll be surprised at how much information you know about the mascots of cereal...what their names are...and what they are wearing. And what's even more surprising is that you probably learned this information as a child, and somehow still remember...

August 20, 2009

The World of Sports and Money

It is no question that American's love sports; we love to play sports, watch sports, and spend billions of dollars each year going to watch our favorite teams play. It is no surprise then that this obsession is reflected in the salary of professional athletes. To put it in perspective, let me give you a break down of the world's top 10 highest paid athletes in 2009 as calculated by Forbes Magazine:

1. Tiger Woods - Earnings, $100 million; Nationality, American; Sport, Golf
2. Oscar De La Hoya - Earnings, $43 million; Nationality, American; Sport, Boxing
3. Phil Mikelson - Earnings, $42.2 million; Nationality, American; Sport, Golf
4. Kimi Raikkonen - Earnings, $40 million; Nationality, Finish; Sport, Auto Racing
5. Michael Schumacher - Earnings, $36 million; Nationality, German; Sport, Auto Racing
6. David Beckham - Earnings, $33 million; Nationality, British; Sport, Soccer
7. Kobe Bryant - Earnings, $32.9 million; Nationality, American; Sport, Basketball
8. Shaquille O'Neal - Earnings, $31.9 million; Nationality, American; Sport, Basketball
9. Michael Jordan - Earnings, $31 million; Nationality, American; Sport, Basketball
10. Ronaldinho - Earnings, $31 million; Nationlity, Brazilian; Sport, Soccer

The U.S. dominates this list, having 6 of the highest paid athletes in the world. You can see, however, that Ronaldinho from Brazil sneaks in there at number 10. Which brings us full circle to the experience that Theresa had on her visit...
Theresa had the unique experience of learning how some programs in Brazil run their sports programs, the underlying theme being that many talented kids drop out of their sport because there is no incentive to play. While in Lavras, Theresa visited the Tennis Club to learn how they implement their sports program. There are 3 levels….4-5 year olds, 6-7, and 8-9 year olds. Students are introduced to a variety of sports at a non-competitive level, and when they turn 9 they are able to choose a sport to focus on. However, even at the University level, sports are considered non-competitve, which is why many kids don't chose to continue playing. As you can see, this is very different from the U.S. where student athletes are idols in the high schools and colleges that they attend. Sports are even put above education if opportunites for higher level of play are presented to athletes.

This sport obsession in the U.S. is one of the aspects that drives the cash flow to the athletes. It is not a surprise then that Americans are among the top paid athletes in the world. If countries outside of the U.S. had the means to provide such lofty benefits to athletes, it would be interesting to see if Americans would still dominate the world of sports.

August 18, 2009

Brazil Amputee Soccer Team

We now get back to Theresa's trip to Brazil, and the world of soccer abroad...

In one of her many adventures, Theresa was able to watch an Amputee soccer game. You may be thinking that the popularity of this sport may not be very big, but there are nine countries who plan on participating in this years Amputee World Cup. In fact this years Cup, which will be held in September, is going to take place in Brazil. The nine nations participating are Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Ghana, Great Britain, Liberia, Russia, Sierra Leone and Turkey. Critics have argued about the safety of this sport saying that adaptive soccer may cause harm to the player or others, but there are very specific safety guidelines set forth such as crutch material and mechanics.

Theresa said that she was absolutely amazed by the players. "These players had not given up on life and continued to play soccer. It really humbles you and makes you appreciate the things that you have in your life."

To find out more about amputee soccer and the team in Brazil, please visit http://www.ampsoccer.org/.
See you later this week!

August 13, 2009

Racing for SCORES!


I know I promised another update from Theresa's trip, but I need to take this time to mention an amazing opportunity for you to support the Denver staff and help raise money for SCORES!


Your Cause Sports of Colorado is hosting a triathlon, duathlon and 5K benefitting non-profits all over the U.S. The staff here in Denver will be racing in the event, and we would appreciate your support. There are two ways to help:

1. Make a donation by clicking HERE to be taken to our fundraising page.

2. If you would like to participate in the Boulder Sunset, please click http://www.yourcausesports.com/ to register. Be sure to select AmericaSCORES from the organization list, which happens to be the very last name on the drop down menu, so that any money paid beyond the registration fee will go to benefit SCORES.

This race will be followed by three more next year, so be on the look out for future opportunites to race for a great cause.

August 11, 2009

Bamboo Sticks used as Pole Vaults

Almost a month and a half ago today, Theresa was enjoying the beautiful country of Brazil.

During her time she was able to visit the Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA), a college located in Lavras, which is 138 miles south of the capital, Belo Horizonte. She was able to meet Professor Fernando who was helping to run a Track and Field program out of the University. Surprisingly, none of the schools have sports programs, so students are picked up by bus and taken to the UFLA sports center. The program is funded by many of the professors at the University, and is geared towards at-risk youth who are typically from extremely poor environments. Some children have even been rescued from child labor situations. Unfortunely, due to funding, professors struggle with acquiring up-to-date equipment for the program, even going as far as to use bamboo for their pole vaults. They are hoping to one day find an organization who is looking to get rid of their old equipment in order to give the kids the quality they deserve.

It is certainly inspiring that there are programs with a vision much like America SCORES in countries all over the world. In giving children the opportunity to succeed, they will excel beyond our expectations.

Check us out later this week for more updates on Theresa's adventure in Brazil...


August 7, 2009

New AmeriCorps*VISTA joins America Scores

Hi! My name is Kristine, and I am the new AmeriCorps*VISTA who will be taking over for Julie. Julie has been working with America Scores since last December, and will sadly be leaving at the end of August to embark on a yet unknown adventure. She has definitely left big shoes to fill, and will be greatly missed.

I am a recent graduate of Bucknell University, where I received a Bachelor's degree in psychology and music. Upon graduating I became a team leader for AmeriCorps NCCC, which is a team based year of service. During this time I was able to travel to Mississippi, Michigan, and Minnesota with nine other individuals to strengthen communities around the United States. If you hadn't guessed yet, I love to travel, and during my time at Bucknell was also able to study in Australia, New Zealand, and Nicaragua. I have come back to my home state of Colorado to work with America Scores, and am very excited about this opportunity. Soccer and writing were a big part of my life growing up, and I am thrilled to be able to work with an organization that shares these passions. I look forward to keeping you updated on the world of America Scores. Stay tuned....

August 5, 2009

Theresa in Brazil!

Through a newly established relationship with the Partners of the Americas, Coaching Coaches, we were able to send one of our soccer coaches, Theresa from Cowell Elementary, on a week long all expense paid trip to Brazil to see how Brazilian youth soccer programs are conducted.

Through the next couple of weeks we will be updating the blog with Theresa's account of the trip, along with pictures she took.

"I am honored that I was chosen to represent the US and the program that I coach for, America SCORES Denver, in Brazil. This has been such a life-changing experience for me and I have met amazing people, people that will be my life long friends. I am inspired to do more, both at home in the US and internationally with at risk youth, especially the girls. I think it is extremely VITAL to help girls at a young age in at risk environments…where no one is there telling them that they are worth anything especially since girls are extremely vulnerable to societal pressures. In Brazil when boys are born they are given soccer balls and girls are given dolls and little kitchens. I believe that sports, connected with education, can help girls rise above their “societal norms.” Sports give girls skills that they can use both on and off the field and it can build up their self-esteem, their self-worth, provide them the skills to communicate, show them to not look at other girls as the enemy but as a teammate, give them the strength to persevere and not give up. These are skills that they can use in their education and in the business world and can give them the power to follow their dreams and not settle for less. And, at the same time, they have a coach, someone in their life, telling them that “they can” when everyone else is telling them they cannot. I am looking forward to the next Partners meeting to discuss what to do next with the coaching coaches program. I am looking forward to sharing my experience with my school and others throughout the community!


On Sunday we arrived in Belo Horizonte where Jose picked us up and took us back to his farm in Lavras where we were staying. All the food on the farm is made fresh and it is some of the best food I have ever eaten!

Later that night Lance (another participant from the US) and I were taken to a local soccer match where there is some amazing local talent! Afterwards we were invited to join the team for drinks and we sat around and talked and watched the Flamenco match. We all then back to Jose's farm were a roda da samba group played samba music in a circle and we ate paodequeziou, drank beer, and talked with the local Tenis club teachers". (Picture on the right is Lance and Theresa with the local soccer club)

July 30, 2009

Poetry

I came across some fall poems from the boys at Munroe Elementary and some of them made me laugh.

Red
Red is like Spider Man.
Red is like an apple.
Red makes me feel hot.
Red makes me mad.
Red, I'm going to bed!
~ Pedro S.

I Am
I am Christmas.
I am love.
I am shiny and with money.
I am attractive
But
I still stick with my mom.
~ Yulises E.

Untitled
Norberto rolls like a fish
He's the best and I wish
I could roll just like him
But I play another role
And still I can make a goal
We play together on our team
And when we play we're a laser beam
~Rafael E.

Untitled
I go fast when I have some gas
I go slow when I have no gas
But when I have no gas
I'm always last
~Yulises E.

July 28, 2009

The Importance of Playing Youth Sports

Can sports have a positive impact on children? Can it really teach them important life lessons? Does playing sports as a child help one succeed in school?

As society trys to deter from the "win at all cost" attitude and move towards using sports as an effective tool in youth development, these are some questions that are frequently asked. I recently read an article called Coaches Making Youth Sports a Positive Experience by Daniel Perkins that gives simple but yet profound reasons for youth sport development.

The full article can be read here. Below is an excerpt from the article that answers the questions above.

Sports can be a fun and engaging way for children and youth to learn some important lessons about life. Studies suggest that participation in sports can be very beneficial, fostering responsible social behaviors, greater academic success, and an appreciation of personal health and fitness. Participating on a team also can give children or youth an important sense of belonging.

The atmosphere set by organizations, parents, and coaches is a major factor in determining whether or not youth will have a positive experience in a sports program. A “win-at-all-costs” atmosphere can be harmful to a developing youth. This bulletin provides information to assist coaches in fostering a positive climate that enables children and youth involved in sports to enjoy themselves and reach their full potential. Two related bulletins provide similar information for parents.

Few children possess the talent to play competitive sports at the highest level—most will not grow up to be professional athletes. Therefore, in this series, we take the perspective that the primary goals of youth sports are to foster the development of general physical competence and to promote physical activity, fun, life skills, sportsmanship, and good health. Sports that foster personal competence help youth develop their abilities to do life planning, to be self-reliant, and to seek the resources of others when needed.

Sports are opportunities for children and youth to learn; they provide a “practice field” for life. For example, learning to work as a team teaches young children social skills that will help them in their growth as people, not just as athletes. For youth, participating in sports may develop teamwork, leadership, self-confidence, self-discipline, and coping skills. Sports also can teach youth about sportsmanlike behaviors and respect for authority. In fact, according to a survey of teachers and school administrators, youth that participated in sports had better grades and behaved better in the classroom because of the associated discipline and work ethic. The evidence from research is clear— children and youth who are involved in physical activities such as sports fare better in school, have higher social skills, are more teamoriented, and are healthier as determined by fitness standards.

July 23, 2009

2009 SCORES Cup Recap


On Saturday July 11th America SCORES Denver along with the Colorado Rapids hosted the 6th annual SCORES Cup. We had eight teams battle it out to see who would advance to play on the Colorado Rapids' pitch before the Rapids/Dallas game that evening.

Games began at 1PM in round robin style with each team playing 3 30min games. As colleagues worked together to keep the ball moving, the America SCORES Denver staff kept track of points while we all watched dark clouds swarm around Denver and miraculously avoid Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

When the 3 games were over the following four teams advanced to the semi-finals: Hogan and Hartson, Juice, BE Media and MetroBoom. These four teams had the once in a lifetime chance to play soccer inside the Rapids' stadium!

After eating some tasteful ziti from the Smiling Moose Deli, the four teams excitedly gathered on the Rapids' field in anticipation of the next match. After 30mins of play Juice and BE Media came out victorious and advanced onto the finals. After another thrilling 30 minutes, we finally had our 2009 SCORES Cup Champions....BE MEDIA!!! Besides bragging rights and a trophy, BE Media participated in the trophy presentation at half-time of the Rapids game!

Thank you to the eight teams that participated: BE Media, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Hogan and Hartson, Juice, MetroBoom, Parsons Brinckerhoff, SCORES Corp and Starbucks. As well as a huge thanks to the Colorado Rapids for all the effort to put together a fun and successful event!

Check out pictures from the 2009 SCORES Cup!