News and Events

National Poetry SLAM!

slam thank you


Thank you to all guests, sponsors, families, coaches, and supporters for making the 2015 America SCORES National Poetry SLAM! the best ever!

A red-carpet and star-studded event in New York City, the National Poetry SLAM! occurs each spring at venues such as HBO Studios, Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater and the New York Stock Exchange. Thousands of SCORES students take center stage at regional Poetry SLAM’s! for the opportunity to perform on a national stage—only 28 get the chance. With students performing their original poetry, the event showcases the power of America SCORES to improve lives while celebrating the achievements of these outstanding elementary school youth. At the event, America SCORES also honors a well-known person who embodies our mission in his or her life work, serves as a role model for the children and shines a spotlight on the organization. The SLAM! is attended by SCORES families, coaches and teachers from around the country, as well as representatives of top corporate, finance, sports/brands. In 2014, we had our first live webcast of the event, sponsored by News Corp.


See photos from the 2015 SLAM!


Relive the 2015 SLAM!




Meet a 2015 Poet-Athlete from DC SCORES!

Jency M., Washington D.C.


Slam Spotlight 2

Jency with SCORES National Spokesperson Briana Scurry and D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen


When Jency M. took center stage at Columbia Heights Education Campus on Dec. 3, the fifth-grader couldn’t believe how many people sat in front of her during the 17th Annual DC SCORES Poetry Slam!

“I was thinking, ‘Oh, my God! Look at all those people. I’m scared. I’m scared! I’m nervous,” Jency recalled.

But then Jency, age 10, took the microphone and calmed herself. For one, she was wearing glasses and the bright lights were hitting them. “I couldn’t see,” she said. And she thought of what her teammates had told her before the performance: “Look, come on, you can do it. You can win this.”

“They helped me a lot,” she said.

Jency’s solo poem for Barnard Elementary School, “Be Yourself, Do the Courage,” was a major hit, and about an hour after performing, her name was called as the Shine Award winner for the best solo poem by an elementary school student.

“I felt proud, especially when they said that I was decided as the winner,” Jency said.

When Jency retook the stage, this time to claim her trophy and pose for a photo with D.C. United coach Ben Olsen and U.S. World Cup Champion and America SCORES National Spokesperson Briana Scurry, she was overcome by emotion thinking about her accomplishment. She had never thought when she and a friend came up with the idea for a poem that combined ideas about bullying and courage, that the end result would be holding a trophy. Yet through rounds and rounds of practice, including learning how to handle a microphone, she went from a novice poet to a star.

In early January, Jency joined the DC Poetry Slam!’s other Shine Award winner, Leron Boyd of Imagine Hope Community Charter School — Tolson Campus, at NBC Washington Studios to perform their poems live on the news with local anchor Barbara Harrison. Jency looked like a natural in front of the bright TV lights, preparing her even more for her next big performance:

The 9th Annual America SCORES National Poetry SLAM! in the heart of Times Square in New York City.

Jency, Leron and 25 other athletes from America SCORES’ 14 affiliates took the stage inside Times Square’s Thomson Reuters Building on April 13th. Before she left, Jency couldn’t wait for the opportunity.

“I feel thankful because I know a lot of kids wanted this opportunity but they chose me,” she said. “I’m going to practice a lot with my teacher, go to classes, and say my poem.”

Meet More 2015 SLAM! Poets