February 25, 2009

DC Showcase Video!!!

Our poet-athletes are not the only ones in our organization with talent! Check out each participating affiliates office performing their skit for the 2009 America SCORES Showcase!

Thanks to Milwaukee John for the video! It's about 30mins long and it was pretty dark where we held the showcase, but definitely worth checking out. I mean, how often do you get to see someone run around in a banana suit or Nick illustrating a grandma in a robe and shower cap?

February 23, 2009

Snacks You Thought Were Healthy...

An article from the Associated Content: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/160396/snacks_you_thought_were_healthy.html?cat=22

5 Snacks that Can Be Very Deceiving

Believe it or not, snacks are an important ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. When you skip snacks, you are tempted to overeat at meals. But, all too often, people are lead to believe their favorite snacks are healthy, when in reality they are from it. The next time you go to the grocery store you might want to avoid the following snacks that you thought were healthy.

Snacks You Thought Were Healthy #1: Fruit Snacks

Look at a package of fruit snacks and what does it say? It will say something similar to, "Contains 1 serving of fruit." Wow, that means you can eat all you want, right? Wrong. While these not so healthy snacks will count as a serving of fruit, they will also count as several servings of sugar. Do not let snacks like this fool you. Read the nutrition label and always look for the amount of sugar contained in each serving.

Snacks You Thought Were Healthy #2: Frozen Fruit Bars

These truly sinful snacks may seem healthy, but unfortunately they aren't. Fruit bars that contain whole pieces of fruit are usually made with fruit puree, sugar, water, and then pieces of fruit. Things get even worse if you choose the coconut fruit bars which taste like that have a pina colada mix added to them. You can easily make these snacks in your home, so that they are healthy. Take equal parts of Splenda and water and then add strawberries (or other fruit) that has been ground up in the blender. Once all of that is combined, add bite sized piece of fruit to the mix.

Snacks You Thought Were Healthy #3: Baked Fruit Bars

What's not healthy about a baked fruit bar? I mean they claim to be made with grains and fruit, so they must be a healthy snack. Well, they're not. Fruit bars are not made with whole grains, so that's one strike against them. Also, they have a lot of sugar. Then there's the fact that these are so small you could eat three of them before you were satisfied. You can make similar bars are home using whole wheat flour and sugar free preserves. There are several recipes available online.

Snacks You Thought Were Healthy #4: Tortilla Chips with Salsa

First of all, yes salsa is healthy. If you make homemade salsa, it's even healthier. But, when you dip tortilla chips into salsa, you ruin this healthy snack. Luckily this is a very easy fix. All you need to do is buy baked tortilla chips instead. Better yet, buy tortillas
and make your own baked tortilla chips for a fraction of the price.

Snacks You Thought Were Healthy #5: Smoothies

Smoothies are deceiving. Many people do not realize that smoothies have unhealthy ingredients added to them like full fat yogurt, sherbet, or even ice cream. If you enjoy smoothies, don't worry, these too can be made at home. To make a healthier smoothie choose ingredients like fresh fruit, fat-free yogurt, and honey for a sugar substitute. This is a smoothie you can actually feel good about.

February 20, 2009

America SCORES Takes Over DC!

All of America SCORES, both the National office and the Affiliates, gathered in our Nation's Capitol February 3 - 6 for the annual America SCORES National Conference. This year's conference was extra special as we celebrated our 10 year anniversary since the inception of America SCORES (15 years for DC Scores)!

It was a time for old friends to reunite and catch up and for us newbies to meet everyone. It was an information packed couple of days, but we also had our fun with planned social events that included an indoor soccer game and the America SCORES Showcase series.

Outside of the opportunity for all of the offices to meet and come together, these conferences are great for everyone to discuss face-to-face what is working for their office and what is not. This year many of the sessions were focused on the fundraising aspect of our organization and how to maintain sustainability in the hard economic times that everyone is facing. It was great to hear some of the creative ideas and successful ways other affiliates are tackling fundraising avenues and garnering awareness for their programs.

The most talked about and anticipated portion of this trip was the 2009 America SCORES Showcase! If wanted, each office was asked to showcase their talent in relations to the program we implement. We had some wonderful performances by some of the affiliates that included a "Welcome to DC" skit, obviously performed by our DC office; "How many burgers can David eat" presented by the LA office (see pic below); the "SCORES Monologues" articulated by the Bay office; "Healthy Food" rapped out by the New England office that spotlighted Alex in a banana suit (see pic below); and lastly the National office acted out a skit that featured poems from SCORES poet-athletes and Nick Beckman in a robe and shower cap (wish I had a pic of this to show)!

Check out the photos below from our conference!

Left photo: LA office's "Showcase" consisting of ball jugglers Amy (left) and Dre (right) and the famish David (center)
Right photo: Duct tape skiing in Michelle's Writing for the Curriculum session!

Left photo: DC SCORES showing everyone how to do their dance moves
Right photo: The rest of America SCORES attempts the DC dance

And last but not least, the infamous banana suit performance!

February 17, 2009

Barnum Elementary Performs at Burger King Opening!

I had the enjoyment on Valentine's Day to go see some of our poet-athletes perform at the Grand Opening of Burger King on Belleview and CO-88 in Littleton, Colorado. Burger King, who has participated in previous SCORES Cups, was a terrific host, allowing our kids to explore the new play area; giving out gifts; raffling off soccer balls; and making a donation to America SCORES Denver.

Check out the video below of some of our poet-athletes performances. The poems that Nayeli and Alissa recited in the video are below in case some of the words were cut out. (Sorry ahead of time for the background noise in the videos).

I am a soccer ball
I run or fly to catch the net

I am a gorilla
So clever I use my brain to catch my prey

I am a beat that never stops
I never give up

I am an artist
So creative I use my hands for many things

I am a president that gives hope for my team
And makes them reach their dreams

I am a trophy that stands for
Creativity, strength, and intelligence

-Nayeli M.

I Am…

I am a girl, a girl who loves herself
a girl who comes out and shows who she is.

I am a leopard, a clumsy dream catcher
able to be whoever I want to be.

I am a brat, a spoiled dream catcher
that gets everything she wants-
Gimee it or I’ll scream!”

I am a dream shooting for my hopes and wishes
Wow, can they really come true?

I am a sweetheart that loves and cares.
I am a good girl-Gee I hope so.

I am a lion, fierce and mean
Don’t even think about coming and messing with me.
-Alissa M.

February 11, 2009

Some facts for thought...

Yesterday I was at a meeting put on by Colorado Connections for Healthy Schools, that dealt with cultural responsiveness in health and physical education classes. In the packet we were given, they gave some interesting information about Colorado youth and physical activity.

~ Students with poor nutrition and low levels of physical activity are more likely to be absent and tardy.

~ Schools that offer intensive physical activity programs see positive effects on academic achievement even when time for physical education is taken from the academic day, including:
- Increased concentration
- Improved mathematics, reading and writing scores
- Reduced disruptive behaviors

~ Physical activity among adolescents is consistently related to higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and stress.

~ Students who participated in physical education programs did not experience a harmful effect on their standardized test scores, though less time was available for other academic subjects.

February 2, 2009

Research on Colorado's Dropout Rate

An interesting article from the Denver Post.

Colorado dropouts establish patterns early on
Warning signs of high school academic woes can be seen in students as young as 11 and addressed, researchers say

By Allison Sherry, The Denver Post

Middle schoolers who fail a single math or reading class are much more prone to drop out of high school than those who do well, according to some of the most sophisticated research into dropouts ever conducted in five Colorado school districts.

The study, which mimics trends found in Philadelphia and Boston, followed dropouts in Denver, Aurora, Jefferson County, Pueblo and Adams County. The districts churn out almost half of the state's dropouts each year.

Among those who left school in these five districts, researchers looked at behavior records, grades and attendance as far back as middle school.

The numbers show that parents and teachers should take seriously student failures in core subjects even when they're as young as 11 years old.

"It's a commitment at the early stages. If a student gives off a warning sign, you make it someone's job that they notice that," said Martha Abele MacIver, a Johns Hopkins University research scientist studying the dropout data for Colorado. "I don't think it takes that many more resources; it's a commitment to do things differently."

For the complete article please click here.