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10 Reasons to Give to SCORES this Holiday Season

December 1, 2014

UPDATED November 30, 2015
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With #GivingTuesday upon us and the holiday season of giving ahead, here are 10 reasons why America SCORES deserves your support this year. Click on the underlined links to read our sources.

To donate to America SCORES for #GivingTuesday, visit our donation page. Also, be sure to find your local affiliate’s donation page to see how you can help your local SCORES chapter!

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1. SCORES is completely free for participants.
85% of SCORES students receive free or reduced lunch at school. Through generous support from our sponsors, we’re able to provide our services to schools, many of whom would otherwise be sending kids to an empty home while their parents are at work.

2. SCORES gives kids a safe place to play.
Violent juvenile crimes occur most frequently in the hours immediately following the end of school on school days, according to federal data​. By giving kids a place to go after school, SCORES provides a safe and supportive environment.  

3. SCORES improves academic performance.
Nationally, 75% of participants improved their grammar and writing mechanics after participating in the program while affiliates like Chicago and Seattle show classroom participation and critical thinking increased after participation. Beyond academic improvement, after-school programs can be an important tool in preventing at-risk teens from dropping out.

4. SCORES improves kids’ fitness.
Nationally, 85% of participants increased their cardiovascular capacity with affiliates like DC and Bay Area reporting that kids had improved self confidence and a lower BMI by the end of the program year. It’s especially important that SCORES operates in cities, with children in urban areas less likely to exercise than the national average.

5. SCORES strengthens communities.
Through the service learning component of the program, kids learn about empathy and social responsibility in their communities. With a greater need for places to play, communities work to redevelop areas that have been left dormant, even in times of strife.

6. SCORES is good for jobs.
A recent report by the Afterschool Alliance found that 83% of parents with children in after-school programs agreed that after-school programs helped working parents keep their jobs. In addition, SCORES employs over 650 teachers as coaches in our after-school programs.

7. SCORES helps kids grow creatively.
Encouraging kids to express themselves through poetry and spoken word can improve a child’s self-confidence and unlock feelings and thoughts the child may not be able to communicate otherwise. Furthermore, studies have also shown that exercise can substantially improve a child’s ability to think.

8. SCORES can become a career.
SCORES programs are filled with countless stories of people who participated in the program as kids coming back to coach or intern or volunteers coming back to work full-time! SCORES has become a model of sustainability with alumni coming back to help the next generation of poet-athletes eager to join the family.

9. SCORES creates leaders and teaches teamwork.
Poet-athletes come from all walks of life. By participating in a structured after-school program, it gives them the stability to grow more confident and achieve successes that would not have been possible otherwise. Similarly, our staff is constantly learning more leadership techniques to help them improve their teaching methods and improve the program.

10. SCORES is trying to address unmet demand.
SCORES currently has a lengthy waiting list of schools and cities who would like the SCORES curriculum to be implemented into their after-school programming. The problem is not unique to us, with two children waiting to get into an after-school program for every one that’s already in. Your support would help us expand SCORES and make this amazing program available in every public school!

***Bonus Reason***
11. SCORES is Fun!
As youth participation in team sports decreases, studies are increasingly showing that kids just want to have fun with sports! SCORES values fun above all else in our programming.

Sources
America SCORES 2013 Annual Report
Afterschool Alliance’s 2014 “America After 3PM” report
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Statistical Briefing Book
New York Times Blog: “How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains”
Edutopia Blog: “Getting to Know Your Students Through Poetry”
Huffington Post Blog: “More Than Fun and Games — Play Matters”
U.S. News and World Report Blog: “After-School Programs Can Help Teens at Risk of Dropping Out”
Washington Post: Are parents ruining youth sports? Fewer kids play amid pressure.
WBUR: Youth Sports See A Slow Decline

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