April, 2012 — National Poetry SLAM! Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTN: San Francisco Bay Area Education, Arts and Sports Editors
San Francisco, CA – April 2, 2012
San Francisco Bay Area Poet-Athletes Inspire through Power of Poetry at Apollo Theatre
Inner-City Elementary Kids Perform at National Poetry Slam in New York City on 4/16/12
In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, four talented and deserving public elementary school students from San Francisco and West Contra Costa’s inner-city neighborhoods will represent the Bay Area at the 6th Annual America SCORES National Poetry SLAM! on Monday, April 16th, 2012 at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theatre. All students are participants of America SCORES Bay Area, a non-profit organization that combines soccer and literacy enrichment programs to more than 1000 public school students in grades K-8th grade.
Every fall season, there are hundreds of America SCORES 3rd-5th grade students who audition for the National Poetry Slam by performing an original work of poetry. In the Bay Area, only four are selected and they, along with 26 other students from 14 America SCORES cities across the country, will voice their hopes, dreams, and fears on stage.
“This opportunity to share on such a grand stage helped hundreds of students in the program discover that writing is about more than completing classroom assignments,” comments Marty Mannion, Education Director for America SCORES Bay Area. “Students realized that their words help them connect to a team and a larger, national community that values their young voices. We expect that these four lucky students will love writing through college and beyond, while inspiring their peers and teammates to do the same.”
Representing San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood, Jose Camara, a 10-year-old 5th grader at Marshall Elementary School, is inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda and enthusiastically said that poetry “… is like an open world…you can write anything & use your imagination.” From Redding Elementary School in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, Nisrine Rahmaoui, age 10, 4th grade will travel to New York for the first time. And from the Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood, Sergio Lopez, age 10, 5th grader from Bret Harte Elementary School looks forward to exploring Central Park and hopes to see the Statue of Liberty. Representing West Contra Costa is Josseline Sanchez, a 10 year old 5th grader from Stewart Elementary School who is an avid reader and fan of author Shel Silverstein.
This year’s host will be National Soccer Hall of Fame member, John Harkes. The Guest of Honor will be New York Red Bulls President of Operations, Chris Heck. Past honorees include Robin Williams, Don Garber, Rick Davis, Sunil Gulati, and most recently Kathy Carter (2011).
America SCORES Partners & Supporters
San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) ExCEL After-School Programs, University of California, San Francisco Pediatrics Department, the San Francisco Department of Children Youth and their Families (DCYF), San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, Bay Area Community Resources and Coach Across America. Primary corporate sponsors include adidas, Starbucks, and the SAK Brand Group.
About America SCORES Bay Area
America SCORES Bay Area inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence & character to make a difference in the world. America SCORES provides children with experiences to develop their own voice through poetry and creative expression, promotes physical activity through soccer, and supports leadership development through team-based service-learning projects. The Bay Area is one of the largest affiliate sites of the America SCORES national program. For more information, please visit www.AmericaScoresBayArea.org.