Magazine article District Administration

Pairing Soccer and Poetry on a New Field

Magazine article District Administration

Pairing Soccer and Poetry on a New Field

Article excerpt

Kicking a soccer ball might feel a bit like poetry--the power of your foot sending the ball curling through the air to a team-mate or into the back of a net.

Washington, D.C., teacher Julie Kennedy has for the past 20 years paired verse with the world's most popular sport to provide an edifying, after-school safe haven for thousands of urban students across the nation.

It started as a way for Kennedy to keep her young female students safe when they left school in the afternoon. She invited them to play soccer on school fields during warmer weather. When it turned cold, she introduced them to writing and reading poetry indoors.

A local school league was created and grew into what would become America SCORES, a national nonprofit that now serves 8,000 male and female students in more than 150 schools in 14 cities. The chapters are funded by public and private community organizations. …

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