DC Scores: Victory in Poetry

DC Scores: Victory in Poetry

Nick Chhoeun

A few weeks ago, DC Scores had their annual poetry performance night. The “Our Words Our City” event began with a reception of parents, teachers, coaches, friends, and students.

The mission statement of DC Scores is that it “creates neighborhood teams that give kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life.” It is evident that this organization achieves its mission and much more. DC Scores gives opportunities to children of any income to find support in sports and the classroom by creating a wide community of peers and adults. Founded in 1994 by Julie Kennedy, the organization now consists of about 3,000 kids in DC and that number continues to grow. This organization has won numerous awards throughout their history, including recognition from the Washington Business Journal and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement.

Of course, DC Scores is fun because it provides a year-round soccer season for the students, but the student poetry events are the real showcase of talent and excellence. I didn’t have a chance to attend the Poetry Slam this year but after the “Our Words Our City” performance, I’m confident in assuming that the young poets that performed were also exemplary.

At “Our Words, Our City,” the performances highlighted the work of the talented students and alumni. The students demonstrated passion, emotion, and craft. I was left speechless by the impactful choices and the evidently practiced work the students performed.

This event boosted my own writing motivation. Seeing young students take pride in their work and writing for more than a grade reinforced my own reasons for writing. Writing because it’s meaningful to oneself and being able to share it with a supportive community is worth it.

The students of DC Scores are set up for success both inside and outside of the classroom. Everyone has something to say, and these kids are learning how poetry can convey their ideas in more meaningful ways. Although the Poetry Slam event and “Our WordsOur City” event are not occurring again until the end of 2019, I encourage others to support their other events.

Image: DC Scores 

Nick Chhoeun is a staff editor at Café MFA and a second-year candidate in American University’s Creative Writing MFA program.

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