DC SCORES goes where kids in need are and creates neighborhood teams that give kids the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life.
We envision a DC where every child – no matter their family income – experiences the joys of childhood: sports, arts, service, and being part of a team. Where every child – no matter their family circumstances – is empowered to find academic success and grow into an emotionally and physically healthy teen and adult. Where every neighborhood supports and celebrates its children and their accomplishments on and off the playing field.
DC SCORES’ school-based, team-based, whole child programming — delivered through free after-school programs and summer camps facilitated by trained youth development professionals — intentionally integrates soccer, poetry, and service-learning to help low-income 3rd-8th graders throughout the District build physical fitness, find their voice, improve their literacy, increase school engagement, and strengthen ties to their community.
Julie Kennedy, a former teacher at Marie Reed Learning Center, invented this complementary combination of activities in 1994 when she began working with a group of 15 girls with little to do after school. Ms. Kennedy learned that the team-centered relationships built on the soccer field translated into poetry workshops, and the development of teamwork and leadership prepared students to act as agents of change in their communities through service-learning projects.
The program quickly expanded throughout DC, and in 1999 Kennedy began sites in Boston and Chicago, thus creating America SCORES, headquarters to 13 programs across the United States and Canada: Bay Area, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New England, New York, Portland, St. Louis, Seattle, Vancouver, and Washington, DC.