America SCORES was born out of a simple observation and a pragmatic, inspired move. In 1994, Julie Kennedy, a public school teacher in Washington, DC., grew increasingly concerned that her students were engaging in high-risk behavior after school. And she knew that behavior would lead nowhere good. So she did something breathtakingly simple. She brought in a soccer ball to keep her students moving and engaged. The power of the game.
Before long, Julie had a soccer team on her hands – all girls. They met on school grounds and she supervised. When winter arrived, she added something new and unexpected: poetry. She introduced poetry through team-based activities, and quickly recognized that the girls were developing new skills and confidence. That was translating into heightened academic achievement in the classroom. An unlikely and highly effective model was born.
America SCORES has replicated that model in 15 U.S., cities, doing so for both girls and boys.
Colin Schmidt got wind of the SCORES model while living in Denver, CO in the late 1990s. He was enchanted, enough so that upon moving to San Francisco at the crest of the dot-com boom, he began working as a volunteer to raise funds to found and launch the Bay Area affiliate of America SCORES in 2001. Colin Schmidt has served as CEO of America SCORES Bay Area ever since.
America SCORES Bay Area proudly serves more than 1,600 children at 80 low-income elementary and middle schools in San Francisco. And they have plans to continue to grow by 20% per year. Their driving passion is to provide more support and opportunities to children who can benefit the most.
They wholeheartedly believe all kids should experience joy, a sense of belonging, and be well prepared to navigate the future. They believe in a Bay Area rich with meaningful opportunities for all children: teams to play on; outlets for creative and physical expression; and pathways to develop their own voices.
America SCORES empowers its “poet-athletes” to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged and collaborative students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.
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