year 2, week 44: this week i'm gonna... give kids the support of a team
Did you know that 21% of Massachusetts K-12 youth are entirely unsupervised in the afternoon? Youth who are not enrolled in after-school programs are 50% more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, 3 times more likely to skip classes, and 5 times more likely to be “D” students.**
Since 1999, Boston Scores has kept youth safe and supervised during the high-risk after-school hours, helping them develop the vital life skills they need to succeed in the future. They offer students enrolled in Boston Public Schools the opportunity to join a team, play soccer, learn about nutrition, develop writing and self-expression skills through supplementary poetry programs, and execute service-learning projects. Each of their school partners recruits a team of 15 boys and 15 girls to participate in all program activities, which include practices, enrichment workshops, and game days. Programs are teacher-led, ensuring the highest quality and providing opportunities for teachers to interact with students in a more recreational setting.
Boston Scores has a three step approach to youth development that has proven successful and replicable in hundreds of school communities across the country: 1) they create teams through the sport of soccer; 2) they bring these teams into the classroom to discover their voice through poetry; and 3) as a team, these ‘poet-athletes’ learn to use their voices to make change in their communities.
Boston Scores provides youth with team-based education programs that foster their health and well-being, academic achievement, and civic engagement. Their innovative blend of soccer, academic support, and enrichment programs improve students' health, academic engagement, and global citizenship. Boston Scores serves over 1,400 youth each year and is one of the largest and fastest growing after-school programs in Boston.
Boston Scores' vision is for every child to experience the support of a team and to empower all children to make positive change in their lives.
To learn more about Boston Scores, please watch the video below:
Boston Scores' three flagship programs are an innovative combination that truly addresses the development of the whole child. First, the kids form a soccer team using the Soccer for Success curriculum. Soccer is a popular sport requiring minimal equipment, making it accessible to children regardless of economic status. Soccer engages youth with their peers in vigorous activity and provides a platform for teaching fitness and nutrition. Youth who play soccer also learn the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and discipline.
Second, in the fall, Boston Scores soccer programs are supplemented with poetry instruction using their nationally-recognized Power of Poetry curriculum. Poetry transcends culture and language, develops creative thinking, promotes problem solving, and instills public speaking skills. Writing and performing poetry gives youth an outlet to express emotionally charged experiences that may inhibit their ability to perform academically. Creative writing also encourages a personal connection to literature, which deepens classroom engagement.
And third, in the spring, students complete service projects and serve as engaged community members. Elementary students engage in lessons that focus on research, community outreach, activism, and reflection. As students progress towards high school graduation, they transition to the Boston Scores flagship service-learning program, One Hen Academy.
One Hen Academy is an enrichment program based on the award-winning children's book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, by Katie Smith Milway. Students begin by learning the story of a young Ghanaian boy, Kojo, who makes a big difference by buying one hen, which in turn lays eggs, and hatches more hens, until he eventually becomes the largest chicken farmer in all of Ghana.
The interactive curriculum teaches elementary and middle school students the fundamentals of money management, the basics of starting a business, and the importance of helping others. Then, inspired by Kojo's story, they receive micro-loans to start simple businesses. Students apply what they have learned, sell their products, and ultimately spend their profits to help others in need.
Boston Scores students are referred to as 'Poet-Athletes', signifying the holistic approach that Boston Scores uses to celebrate each participant’s creativity and physical activity. The result is children who experience success on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.
Notes for this week:
- Halloween is October 31st! Anyone dressing up like a soccer player?
- Our collective givetwig donation will sponsor one student for an entire year of programming
- For more information on Boston Scores, please check out their website.
this week i'm gonna donate to Boston Scores.