As some of you know, I spend my days teaching visual arts to an amazing group of students in grades Pre-School through Fifth grade. Part of being a teacher, is not just commitment and investment in your students during the 8:00-3:30 school day, but also beyond the normal school day into extracurricular activities. DC SCORES is the Washington, DC affiliate of the greater non-profit organization America SCORES. The organization is in many different states, and throughout schools within the District of Columbia. Students can first join in the third grade, and the program extends through middle school age. DC SCORES has been a program within my school since before I began over three years ago. Students are a team within this program but they don’t just play soccer. Students grow and learn in a multitude of ways. In addition to learning skills of sportsmanship and honing their soccer abilities, students participate in a service learning project and an annual poetry slam. Coaches are typically community members and teachers from the building which provides students and teachers a different environment to build a trusting and positive relationship with one another.
Thursdays are game days. Students arrive to Bancroft typically in full uniform, counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until the games start at 4pm. Morning arrival typically occurs for me with each player asking, “are you coming to our game Ms. Foy?!” my response is “YES! where is the game today?” and to that I’m told “umm, I don’t know, I don’t remember. It’s going to be awesome though! Ask Coach Guzman!”. There’s something about the huge smile on their faces, and eagerness to power through the day that the DC SCORES players bring every Thursday that is contagious and spreads throughout their classrooms.
I arrive on the field (usually late by 15 minutes, but hey, it’s DC and traffic is annoying let alone parking!) and as soon as I’m spotted, my attention is directed to the mass of yellow jerseys yelling”Look, it’s Ms. Foy!” and “HEY! Ms. Foy, OVER HERE!”. No matter how many times you tell a student you’re coming to the game, they still act completely shocked but thrilled when they first realize you’re actually there! Game days are not just about the student athletes bonding, and working together but also about parental involvement and community. Parents who come to the game have the time to casually converse and interact while cheering on their student. These games have really helped me build relationships with parents. It’s turned into tutoring for me in ways as many of our parents speak Spanish primarily, so it gives me the chance to work on my Spanish. I could go on for a long time explaining the many ways DC SCORES strengthens my school community, but I’ll just end with a glimpse through the lens on game day…
A Special thanks to DC SCORES leadership for supporting me in this post! Looking for a way to make a difference?
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