Literacy and Service
America SCORES uses two literacy enrichment curricula exclusive to all America SCORES elementary and middle school after-school creative writing workshops. The Power of Poetry curriculum, used in the fall, is a comprehensive guide to teaching students to read, interpret, write, and perform poetry while simultaneously building their voices through self-expression and teamwork. Students bring knowledge of the world around them to their writing workshops, and they build on that knowledge through reading poetic works by diverse authors, discussions in class with their peers, and by using the genre of poetry for their own self-exploration.
The Writing for the Community curriculum, used in the spring semester, incorporates literacy instruction and writing for a variety of purposes while guiding students through the discrete stages of a service-learning project. Students engage in community awareness through both oral and written literacy activities, researching issues that affect their community, and using writing as a tool to affect positive change for themselves and others.
Together, these curricula address the K-12 Standards for the English Language Arts developed by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA) as well as the K-12 Service-Learning Standards developed by the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC).
Please click on the links below for a detailed description of how America SCORES curricula align with these standards.
Leadership in Action project examples
2011-2012 Service Project Summaries
- When the Cleveland Girls noticed there were more boys participating in SCORES and urban youth sports in general, they threw their very own Girls in the Game Carnival!
- The Garfield Elementary Boys Team restored their school garden and built a robot out of plastic water bottles to inspire the use of reusable bottles.
- After learning about cancer from a UCSF doctor, E.R. Taylor Elementary students made and delivered friendship bracelets for cancer patients in a children’s hospital.
- Mission Education Center students invited friends, families and community members to nutrition night they hosted at their school.
- During the season, the 6th-8th grade girls from Eli Whitney explored their community and the impact the community has on their lives. The team discussed positive and negative influences that challenge them on a daily basis: violence and community-service were two of the main focuses. They then brainstormed ways to incorporate both topics into a project we could complete together and decided to participate in a Peace walk to raise awareness to the rest of the community.
- Chalmers Elementary School partnership with the Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, who provided the guest speaker that fueled their fantastic fact-based poetry that they presented at Jamboree.
- The 3rd-5th grade Corkery girls team was passionate about their love of animals and making sure people treat their pets well. They began by writing poems and sharing stories about how to properly take care of animals, but also shared firsthand accounts of animal mistreatment they had witnessed. The latter especially drove their desire to tackle this subject. To learn more about how to treat pets, they enlisted a representative from The Anti-Cruelty Society. He shared common things people do that can prove very harmful to their pets as well as best practices for pet care: the girls took this knowledge and figured out a way to best disseminate it.
- The 3rd-5th grade boys team at Corkery chose the topic of violence, after a nearby shooting struck a Corkery graduate. To learn more about the issue, the team read articles, created a ‘roots and causes tree,’ learned the art of mediation from their partnership with the Center for Conflict Resolution and wrote letters to the student who was shot, his family and the shooter, about why violence is not a good way to deal with problems.
- The 3rd-5th grade Catalyst girls brought their flair for creativity and desire to inspire to their project about recycling and keeping our communities clean. They read articles and fact sheets to learn more about how litter is negatively affecting the community and how recycling can help improve it. The team went on a Chalk Walk, where they both picked up litter around their schools, and wrote messages in chalk on the street about why people should recycle and not litter.
- The Walton School girls’ team spent a day making fleece pillows to donate to the Salvation Army.
- Several teams held school grounds clean-up and beautification projects.
- The girls elementary, along with the boys and girls middle school teams at Willow School grew flowers and vegetables from seeds in their classrooms and planted these in the community garden across the street from their school.
- Girls from Fullerton School held a bake sale to benefit University Settlement, a local service organization the benefits the homeless and individuals in need.
- Willow School’s elementary boys’ team held a canned food drive to benefit the Cleveland FoodBank.
- H.D. Cooke Elementary: Students took a stand against littering by informing families and students about the harmful effects of littering and the importance of keeping their community clean. Students also held a “clean-up our block” event to fight against littering.
- Oyster-Adams Bilingual School: Students made videos and posters to promote Hispanic-owned local businesses. Students also tried to convince local businesses to accept the “family dollar,” which is based off of the Baltimore B-note.
- Burrville Elementary: Students made a unified showing against bullying in their school. They came up with slogans and made posters and marched around their school during recess. They also gave a presentation on bullying to their principal and made daily morning announcements against bullying.
- Noyes Education Campus: Students at Noyes raised money to donate to a local homeless shelter by hosting a carwash, lemonade stand, and baked goods sale. In addition, students visited a local senior center to spend time with the elderly. Students read poetry, played board games, and helped the elderly move around the grounds.
- MacFarland Middle School: Students held multiple fundraisers to raise money for metro cards. Students then distributed these cards to homeless people who needed the money to get to their jobs or job interviews.
- Anti-Bullying Campaign–The Palms Elementary School anti-bullying campaign was one of the most ambitious projects we have witnessed for a number of reasons. For starters, this is an issue that has been gaining more and more attention. In addition, this project took into account the role of technology, the ability to create through language, and ultimately the ability to perform in front of the camera. But more than anything, the efforts of this campaign brought the topic of bullying front and center at their elementary school. It became embedded it in the consciousness of students, teachers, and administrators. And students took it home to their families. Ultimately, creates bridges of understanding that will help people treat each other better.
- Schoolwide Environmental Awareness and Recycling Campaign — Again this year, elementary school students and families at embarked on a year-long recycling campaign. The schools continue to do very little in the way of recycling and environmental education. This project continues to provide America SCORES LA students with the ability to inspire their community to action by filling this void and teaching others the importance of taking responsibility for the planet. And it is also an opportunity to share what they have learned with their friends and family members. This project has now gone well-beyond the scope of the school grounds, as families routinely bring in bags of paper and plastic to the school, as recycling has now become something that is woven into the fabric of the community.
- CoachArt — CoachArt is a wonderful organization that provides programs for chronically and terminally ill children here in Los Angeles, and we were honored to partner with them for the second consecutive year. Our Alumni Leaders ran week-long soccer clinics as a component of their summer soccer camp. This had an amazing impact on the kids from CoachArt–many of whom had not ever played soccer before. It provided them with renewed confidence and self-esteem, helped them learn what it felt like to be part of a team, and inspired them to keep going. In fact, one 2nd year CoachArt participant approached one of our Alumni Leaders to tell him that she now “played on a soccer team because of him” since he was so supportive of her the summer before. For kids that are facing the challenge of illness to feel like they can run and play and experience joy in a physical sense is an incredible gift. The SCORES Coaches were patient, supportive, and incredibly inspiring.
- Middle School Leadership Initiative — In the formative middle school years, America SCORES LA continues to work exceptionally hard to keep students connected to our program. This is a critical age when students make different choices. And nothing seems to empower students more than experiencing the feeling that they can make a difference and that their actions can create real change. America SCORES LA Middle School students initiated the most dynamic middle school program we have seen since our program expanded there 8 years ago. In 2013, the Middle School Volunteer Program became more structured and formalized, and students even took part in a referee training program that culminated with them receiving a certificate. More importantly, their efforts to lead by example provided tangible support for elementary school students in the classroom, on the field, and at game day with hundreds of children impacted by this initiative.
- Marycrest Manor — Another inspiring and ambitious project was our intergenerational collaboration with Marycrest Manor convalescent home. Boy and Girls from Braddock Drive Elementary learned about the Manor. Teachers spoke to the home and received a list of names who were interested in being part of the project. And students began communicating with residents at the home by sending letters, drawing pictures, and offering words of encouragement. For many of the residents, these letters were cherished since a number of the participants were without any family members. The Manor followed up with America SCORES LA following the project to illustrate the depth of their appreciation for our goodwill and participation. The students learned a great deal as well–particularly how an act so small has the ability to mean so much.
- Samoana High School/World Teach–Girls at Charnock Road engaged in a pen pal exchange with middle school and high school girls soccer players from America Samoa. They engaged in multiple writing exchanges that included poems, letters, autobiographical questions, and photo exchanges. This was an amazing opportunity for children to learn about a completely different culture, study a geographic area that was relatively unknown, and bridge borders across different languages. It was incredibly exciting for the America SCORES LA participants to receive letters in the mail, and the anticipation created strong incentive throughout the collaboration. But what made it most special was the ability of shared passions of soccer and writing to eliminate distance and difference across an ocean.
- Orchard Gardens Pilot School designed and created a quilt which they donated to Children’s Hospital
- The Mattahunt teams designed a recycling program for their school and made signs to advertise it
- The Henry Grew School raised money for to help students with Diabetes by holding “crazy hat day.”
- The Mildred Ave K-8 School joined the Mayors “Boston Moves for Health” project and raised awareness with a “Focus on Fitness” school wide campaign.
- After a beloved teacher died of cancer, The John F Kennedy School Scores team raised money for cancer research by selling fruit cups. They also wrote poems and made cards for cancer patients.
- The PS 192 Girls continued for the second year their Community Garden service-learning project which was focused on beautifying previously unused green space at their school.
- The PS 325 Boys created and performed an anti-bullying rap which they performed in front of all SCORES students and incorporated into their Community SLAM! performance.
- The PS 192 Boys created and performed an anti-violence play/performance which was designed to promote treating each other with respect which they performed in front of all SCORES students at our SHOUT! Day of Action.
- BAILEY GATZERT’s “Goodbye Grass. Hello Wood Chips!” Project - The girls have been covering all the tall grass in the garden with cardboard and then with chips. The garden does not get mowed by district staff since there is a gate around it, and so the tall grass makes it inaccessible to anyone. With the chips laid down, we can use the whole garden as an outdoor classroom.
- HIGHLAND PARK’s “Trash! Pick it Up!” Project - The Highland Park girls SCORE team has been working hard to help clean up trash around our school. They also created a presentation to share with primary students at HP about the importance of helping to clean our school.
- ROXHILL Girls’ “Helping Animals in Need” Project - We did a fundraiser for the local animal shelter. We asked the classes within the building to donate any change or extra money they may have. The students asked their individual classes, made posters to display around the building, and spread the word around their school community. The class that donates the most funds will receive a candy treat and a booklet of poems to thank the class for their donations.
- ROXHILL Boys’ ”The Roxhill Litter Police” Project - The Roxhill SCORES boys team did an investigation into litter in their own community. They mapped how much litter there is in their local community park and tried to find out the causes and the affects of littering. After their investigation the Roxhill team participated in the White Center Community Development Association’s “Spring Clean” Day on Saturday, May 19th. The Roxhill Park Litter Clean Up was one of 22 WCCDA Spring Clean projects in the community. The Roxhill Team was joined by more than 10 adult from the White Center community, who all together were able to make their local park a better, cleaner place to be for the entire community!
- Operation Clean Up at Jefferson Elementary – Jefferson Elementary SCORES students beautified the area around their school, picking up trash, planting flowers, and repainting their school sign,
- Bullying Awareness Project at Washington Elementary - SCORES students at Washington Elementary studied the effects of bullying, and gave a presentation to their school to raise awareness of the issue and to discourage their classmates from using bullying behavior.
- College Access Fair at Nance Elementary - Nance Elementary SCORES students created poetry and a brochure about college access and presented to each grade at their school about the importance of going to college.
- Biking and Safe Walks to School at Walbridge Elementary - Walbridge Elementary SCORES students made calls to city hall and wrote letters to community members, advocating for better and safer walking and biking routes to the schools and community centers in their neighborhood.
- Organic Gardening and Food Security Project at Barack Obama Elementary - Barack Obama Elementary SCORES students helped teach others about health and about food security by starting an organic garden that can provide food for members of the community.