America SCORES Milwaukee's mission is to inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.
An affiliate of the national America SCORES network (which operates in 14 cities across the country), America SCORES Milwaukee is the community outreach program of the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club. SCORES is dedicated to offering the children of Milwaukee's central city with after-school soccer programming. Incorporated with creative writing and community service components, SCORES is providing high quality youth-development to our community's neediest children.
Founded in 2004 by Executive Director Kate Carpenter, SCORES has provided high-quality after-school opportunities to more than 1,000 youth. Recognizing the need for expanded after-school options, SCORES is currently working with the Milwaukee Public School District, the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club as well as several local foundations to develop programs that will best serve our communities under-served youth.
The America SCORES methodology that combines sports with academics. SCORES' formula starts with soccer -- a team sport for boys and girls, no matter their height, weight, speed, etc. -- and uses it as our building block for social camaraderie among at-risk youth.
Most people would not consider soccer and poetry common activities when thinking about urban communities; but as we all know, two major crises exist in our public schools today (especially in major metropolitan areas): more children are obese today than at any time in our history and illiteracy levels are on the rise.
While these may appear as separate issues, America SCORES has proven that healthy activities such as team sports can be used as an important building block to create a safe and positive learning environment for reading and writing. After all, what motivates urban children to excel at developing critical reading and writing skills in the classroom when they can receive more gratification by achieving social popularity on the streets?
We engage participants by creating fun and organized soccer teams at public schools. Soccer in the United States has become a suburban sport, but in most other countries, it is played by all people, no matter their gender, race, or class. SCORES sees soccer as an opportunity to show urban children that they are not limited to sports (or any activity for that matter) that is stereotypical of their race.
When participants are not at soccer practice, we require that they commit every other day to after-school literacy workshops.
With poetry, children are able to write freely about anything they can imagine which makes it enjoyable. Poetry has few boundaries allowing children to put their thoughts on paper without worrying about grammatical errors. As SCORES students become comfortable with their writing, they can then revisit their work and perfect it so they are proud of what they have accomplished.
During the spring semester, SCORES writing workshops focus on service-learning, helping students to apply reading and writing to their real-life experiences. The results are that our youth translate their teamwork and peer pressure from sports to academics to community betterment. With continuous group efforts and positive reinforcement from other children and coaches, each child realizes that what they write and what they feel are important and worthy of sharing.
For more information about America SCORES Milwaukee and its programs, please visit AmericaSCORESmke.org