America SCORES brings children, teachers, families, communities, volunteers and funding partners together in urban public school environments to create a support system for learning and community enhancement. SCORES’ innovative tri-curricular approach effectively demonstrates to young people how physical activity, creativity, and teamwork promote a sound body, mind, and character.
As a popular sport requiring minimal equipment, soccer is accessible to children regardless of economic status. Soccer engages youth with their peers in vigorous activity and provides a platform for teaching fitness and nutrition. Youth who play soccer also learn the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and discipline.
Creative thinking promotes problem solving and performing instills public speaking skills. Writing and performing poetry gives youth an outlet to express emotionally charged experiences that may inhibit their ability to perform academically. Creative writing also encourages a personal connection to literature, which deepens classroom engagement.
Volunteerism instills in children a sense of compassion, social responsibility, and personal worth. Through service-learning projects, children develop leadership skills and collaborative experience at an early age. Youth apply their knowledge to group-selected community projects, which inspires self-efficacy and pride.
Who Are Poet Athletes?
Poet-athletes are the youth participating in the America SCORES Cleveland program after-school.
The term poet-athlete is used to signfy the holistic approach SCORES uses to celebrate each participant’s creativity and physical activity.
By providing 5 days a week of structured physical fitness, creative writing and service-learning programming, America SCORES makes learning and fitness fun.
SCORES is proud to offer a 12-year continuum of support and activities that successfully builds healthy, more engaged learners who graduate from high school equipped with the skills and confidence to pursue their post-secondary aspirations.
All America SCORES Cleveland curricula is aligned to current Common Core English Language Arts standards, Ohio Physical Education Content standards, and addresses all five of the Social and Emotional Learning Core Competencies. Standards alignments for each curriculum are available upon request. All curricula is delivered by SCORES-trained school teachers.
Jr. SCORES Programming for Grades 1-2
Jr. SCORES programming take place for ten weeks during both the fall and the spring, for a total of 20 weeks during the school year. Poet-athletes meet four days a week for 60-90 minutes each day. Two days a week, poet-athletes are led in reading and writing workshops by their Writing Coaches. The other two days a week, poet-athletes meet with their Soccer Coaches for soccer sessions.
The Jr. SCORES program uses the “Playing with Poetry” writing and reading curriculum in, which was developed by America SCORES Cleveland in support of the Ohio Department of Education’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Playing with Poetry curricular objectives include building foundational reading skills focusing specifically on phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency; expanding awareness and exposure to diverse texts; and developing social and emotional core competencies.
In the spring, the focus is “My Community”. This curriculum builds on reading comprehension skills learned in the fall. Curriculum objectives include exploring communities, recognizing available resources, and identifying needs; responding to questions and adding details to strengthen writing; increasing enthusiasm and interest in reading and writing; building confidence through public speaking and sharing writing samples in front of peers; and developing social and emotional core competencies.
Core Programming for Grades 3-5
America SCORES’ core programming takes place for 10 weeks during both spring and fall, for a total of 20 weeks during the school year. During the seasons, poet-athletes meet five days a week for 60-90 minutes each day. Two days per week, poet-athletes meet with their Writing Coaches for creative writing workshops. Three days per week, poet-athletes meet with their Soccer Coaches for soccer practices and games.
In the fall, poet-athletes concentrate their writing efforts on the “Power of Poetry” curriculum, ending the season with a Poetry SLAM! Power of Poetry curricular objectives include recognizing differences between poetry and prose; understanding basic poetic terminology and conventions (simile, metaphor, rhythm, rhyme, etc.); identifying a variety of poems (free verse, haiku, shape, quatrain, limerick, etc.) and using these different poetic styles as templates for their own works; understanding and executing the writing process; and developing public speaking and communication skills..
In the spring, the creative writing curriculum, “Writing for the Community,” uses multidisciplinary texts and writing prompts to learn about issues affecting their communities. Curriculum objectives include using writing as a positive tool to discover, celebrate, and improve their community; using teamwork and communication to facilitate positive change; setting goals and developing strategies to achieve those goals; and completing meaningful and relevant community service projects.
Middle School Programming for Grades 6-8
Poet-athletes meet four days a week for 60-90 minutes each day, for ten weeks during both the fall and the spring, for a total of 20 weeks during the school year. Poet-athletes are led in two days of reading and journaling activities, one day of soccer practices and health workshops, and Thursdays are dedicated to soccer games.
In the fall, poet-athletes use “Middle School Power of Poetry.” The middle school curriculum continues to build upon poetic and literacy skills developed through the Core Program’s Power of Poetry curriculum. Curriculum objectives include understanding and using poetic terminology and conventions (simile, metaphor, rhythm, rhyme, etc.); identifying and writing using a variety of poetic styles (free verse, haiku, shape, quatrain, limerick, etc.); understanding and executing the writing process; and developing public speaking and communication skills. The fall Middle School Power of Poetry season culminates with a community-wide Poetry Slam event held in an Open Mic format.
In the spring, middle school poet-athletes use a new program entitled “One Hen.” Via a series of interactive lesson plans, an award-winning children’s book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, and a website of games and activities, One Hen challenges youth to start their own small businesses. In the process, the youth entrepreneurs are equipped with the necessary skills in business math, personal financial literacy, and social entrepreneurship. Learning objectives include: Global citizenship & importance of giving back, service-learning, economics, personal financial literacy, leadership & initiative.
Sports-based (soccer) Youth Development
Poet-athletes participate in curriculum-based soccer practices and games, as outlined in the America SCORES Soccer Curriculum. This curriculum emphasizes character-building skills such as leadership, teamwork and commitment. Daily lessons end with discussions that focus on healthy behaviors, self-esteem, goal setting and school stewardship.
Middle school coaches also use America SCORES Soccer Tactics, a supplement to the America SCORES Soccer Coach Manual. Its goal is to bridge the ability to complete technical skills (dribbling, passing, shooting, goal keeping, etc.) to a fundamental tactical understanding of these skills.
Poet-athletes participate in games between America SCORES schools at specified community locations on Thursdays and Fridays, and compete in two soccer tournaments, Fall Frenzy! and the Jamboree!
America SCORES Cleveland strives to provides extension programming in order to continue to meet the needs of all Cleveland youth throughout the entire year. Extension programming includes Summer camps, Alumni programming (high school students who have aged out of our primary programming) and other special events and activities including culinary workshops, literacy blitz days and field days.