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Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Camp and Video Shoot!

The national teams of Camerigia, Timberlesh, and The Party Country participated recently in a four day AC Portland camp at James John Elementary School in North Portland. Eighteen 3rd-5th graders came up with creative country names, unique flags, and national anthems as a part of ACP’s emphasis on creative learning in addition to physical activity. 

The camp was part of the school’s Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) summer programming through LifeWorks NW ( Youth arrived by 8:45 a.m. for a light breakfast and then spent three hours each morning in the classroom learning about service learning and playing soccer at the nearby St. Johns City Park and on James John’s community-built soccer field (Click here to learn more about the field!) Before leaving for the day, campers enjoyed a healthful lunch.

James John looked more like a movie set than a summer camp one morning, as the youth starred in an informational video about AC Portland’s programming. The video will be shown at Jeld-Wen Field during a Portland Timbers match on Aug. 5. Many thanks to Matt Gromley and his team for all of their help with this!!!

ACP also thanks the following volunteer coaches for helping make the camp a success: Cameron Bennett, Eric Berg, Jarred Frazier, Joel Hawk, Josh Hawk and Delaney Miller.

Stay tuned to see the video and to hear about some exciting new changes that will be happening for AC Portland!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

America SCORES Kids Give Back Through Service Learning

The America SCORES Spring Season curriculum, Writing for the Community, uses literature and creative writing to encourage kids to learn more about their local communities and to feel empowered to positively impact those around them. Each team learns about service learning through the creation and completion of a community project. At the season's end, each team shares what they have learned and what project they completed with their school community and their families in an event called SHOUT. 
Our first season of Writing for the Curriculum was awesome! Some of our schools made posters or displays to show at the SUN Showcase; other schools did skits or performances to either present their project or to serve as part of an awareness campaign. Below is a brief description of what projects the schools completed and how they chose to present what they accomplished:

Oliver: These students completed a research project about family heritage to help promote knowledge of their school's diversity. Each student researched their family heritage and then created a presentation (accompanied by a poster board) to teach other students and promote cultural understanding.

Parklane: Parklane created a great school beautification project. The kids painted wooden signs to both make the school garden more beautiful and to remind people not to walk on the plants and not to pick the flowers. They then presented their project in front of the other students and families at the SUN Showcase.

Barnes:  These kids completed an anti bullying campaign to improve their school community. They presented their posters and gave a performance at the SHINE Fiesta.

Whitman: The students helped to plan and implement certain components of Whitman's Cinco de Mayo celebration. The kids volunteered at the event by making signs, helping to run games, and helping to clean up. A poster with lots of photos of the America SCORES kids working hard and participating at the event can be found on display at Whitman Elementary!

Markham: The Markham America SCORES team researched water conservation and created a wonderful awareness campaign. They created posters to hang up around the school and performed an educational presentation in front of students and parents. The performance contained skits to demonstrate "good" and "bad" behavior, poems about the importance of water conservation, and a quiz to test what the audience learned!

Davis: The America SCORES kids helped with Davis' Soccer de Mayo family day. More information can be found in AC Portland's most recent blog entry!

James John: The kids at James John learned about homelessness and hunger in Portland and created a canned food drive. The cans that they collected have been given to the Oregon Food Bank. The kids created a poster to display at the SUN Showcase which both presents their project and teaches other students and their families about hunger and homelessness in Portland.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Davis Elementary Holds Soccer de Mayo Event!

On May 5th, Davis Elementary held a community soccer day called "Soccer de Mayo" to bring together students and families in celebration. Highlights for the kids included face painting, a Timbers "cheer" station, and a bouncy castle!

Davis Elementary's Keeley McAnnis-Entenman was kind enough to answer a few questions about the event and about AC Portland's relationship with the school:

AC Portland: What inspired Soccer de Mayo? Why was soccer the focus of this community day?

Keeley: Soccer de Mayo was inspired by the Rockwood community's need for a unifying event that could bring people together in a safe and fun environment. Soccer was the focus of this event due to its innate ability to be translated across languages, diverse demographics, and skill levels. Additionally, we wanted to promote health, exercise, and nutrition at this event, and provide a forum for families to see the accessibility of a healthy lifestyle.

AC Portland: Has having America SCORES and Soccer for Success at Davis increased interest in soccer? Has it increased parent involvement in any way?

Keeley: The impact of the America SCORES and Soccer for Success programs at Davis Elementary has been immeasurable. By providing out students with excellent soccer equipment, dedicated coaches, and an intentional curriculum, the America SCORES and Soccer for Success programs have enabled the Davis Soccer program to expand in the number of students involved, as well as set a standard of excellence for our kids. Through the opportunities provided by these programs, such as field trips and soccer games, we have seen a great increase in involvement from our parent community. Many parents have chaperoned our field trips and events, or volunteered during our soccer classes. It has been great to see parents play and interact with their kids on a different level. We are very grateful for the partnership cultivated between Davis Elementary and AC Portland, and look forward to all the future holds for the soccer programs at Davis.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Going to the White House!

America SCORES invited to White House for Let's Move Soccer Clinic with First Lady Michelle Obama

On May 15, 2012, thirty-four America SCORES students will get the opportunity of a lifetime. From America SCORES programs in DC, St. Louis and Denver, they will travel to The White House to participate in the Let's Move Soccer Clinic with First Lady Michelle Obama and the Major League Soccer (MLS) Champion LA Galaxy.

President Obama will welcome Major League Soccer champions, the LA Galaxy to the White House to honor their 2011 season and their MLS Cup victory. Following the ceremony, LA Galaxy players will join the First Lady to hold a Let's Move! soccer clinic on the South Lawn for students from across the country. The children will also have the chance to watch the ceremony.

"These six students [from America SCORES St. Louis] demonstrated good sportsmanship, thoughtful leadership, and perseverance this school year and are excellent representatives for our organization. The invite to the White House is beyond what we have dreamed for these kids and is an amazing opportunity that they will remember the rest of their lives," said Serena Muhammad, Founding Executive Director, America SCORES St. Louis.

Through a unique combination of soccer, poetry, and service-learning, America SCORES inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.

"We are honored that The White House recognizes the importance of what we do to address childhood obesity. Our hope is that we will continue to see even more support locally," added Muhammad.

America SCORES participants receive ten times more exercise than the national average and lower their BMI by 2% by the end of each season. Using soccer as a tool to encourage fitness, sportsmanship, and leadership, America SCORES inspires the life-long appreciation of sports and health-enhancing behaviors like choosing to eat more fruit and vegetables, participating in organized sports and spending less time watching television and playing video games. 

Each year, America SCORES serves 7,500 students at 150 schools through fourteen affiliates located in major urban centers across the United States. Founded in 1994 in Washington DC, America SCORES grew to a national organization and expanded to Denver in 1999, and again to St. Louis in 2005. Today, DC SCORES serves over 800 low-income DC youth at 27 schools; America SCORES Denver serves 320 youth at ten West Denver DPS schools; America SCORES St. Louis serves 260 youth at seven schools.

Monday, May 7, 2012

America SCORES Spring Frenzy!

On the afternoons of May 2nd and 3rd, the adidas Village was overtaken by 175 America SCORES participants who joined together to participate in AC Portland's first ever "Spring Frenzy" soccer jamboree. This friendly tournament, like the Fall Frenzy we held last October, brought teams together from 7 schools around the Portland area to compete in small sided soccer games. For several kids, these games served as their first  "real" games and also as their first time playing in full uniform, on a turf field. We were fortunate enough to have staff members from Golazo attend the event, providing all natural hydration drinks for the kids (and energy drinks for the grownups!) both afternoons. They definitely added to the exciting atmosphere of the event with their large Golazo tent, boombox, temporary tattoos, and awesome staff members. Thanks Golazo! On Wednesday, Timbers players Lovel Palmer and "Futty" Danso made an "unofficial" appearance, stopping by to surprise the kids and to let them ask questions about what it takes to be professional soccer players. On Thursday, Timbers players Chris Taylor and Ryan Kawulok spent the majority of the event playing soccer with the kids, chatting with the kids and volunteers, and signing autographs. They both had a great presence with the kids and their kindness and enthusiasm had a great impact on the success of our event. Other special guest included former Timbers player Mick Hoban, and Timbers Community Outreach Manager Christa Thoeresz. All of our guests and volunteers helped to make the day extraordinary for the kids and their presence was very much appreciated! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 4, 2012

National SLAM video

Check out the video footage from the National Poetry SLAM of the AC Portland kids in Action!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

National Poetry SLAM

Last weekend, two poet-athletes from Markham School in Portland performed at the National Poetry SLAM! at the Apollo Theatre in NYC. We are so proud to offer these students the opportunity to have their creativity celebrated on a national stage.  woo hoo!

Dallas Anderson is a 5th grader known as "the epitome of team spirit!" She is very hard-working, loves to play soccer and sing and likes to incorporate jokes into her poems. 

Ernesto Andreas Lopez is a 4th grader who shows great sportsmanship and a good attitude. He loves poetry "because it ROCKS!"

Both students participated in America SCORES this fall, a national program that combines soccer and literacy into an after school curriculum for 3rd-5th graders.
We are so excited as this is Portland’s first year participating in the National Poetry SLAM!  Dallas and Andres joined 28 other students from 14 America SCORES cities across the country and had the time of their lives. This year’s host was National Soccer Hall of Fame member, John Harkes and the Guest of Honor was New York Red Bulls President of Operations, Chris Heck. Dallas and Andres also met famous soccer players from the New York Red Bulls,  shared the stage with smart-rapper - Psalm One, enjoyed a day at Central Park and gained the confidence and pride to perform in front of a packed house at the Apollo.

The Poetry of

In the day,
During the night,
All the creatures come out to bite.
With sharp pointy teeth, and
Large round claws
They’re at the reef,
And out at the malls.

There the Loch Ness Monster, Fred,
And the one that hides under your bed,
There’s the cookie monster
But he’s not that scary –
He’s just really hairy!

And he’s blue, but not that mean.
Although if you mention veggies,
He’ll scream!


Today my name is sleepy
I feel so creepy
I pretend that I am freaky

Yesterday my name was curious
I heard that I was furious
I found a little anger

Tomorrow my name will be "A"
I'll forget all the hay
But I'll remember my raise!