The Lady Maverettes Club in Full Swing

The 21st Century Lady Maverettes at Mason are back for another fun filled, exciting year and they are better than ever! Meeting daily throughout the week, they share, care, laugh and cry together.
The club has fantastic activities planned for the new year: they will be making jewelry, trying out new recipes (learning new ways to enjoy their veggies), journaling and team building with a smile.
The meaning of true sisterhood starts with the group working and building on a foundation of trust. The Lady Maverettes would like to wish everyone a safe and joyful holiday season. Contact Coach Roy at Mason Elementary if you are interested in joining!


Pilsen Visits Westinghouse College Prep

6th-8th grade students were invited to attend a high school open house at Westinghouse College Prep on Saturday, November 7th.
The students received a warm welcome with several student group performances, speeches on travel opportunities, and a counselor’s motivating words on what students need to do to apply to the selec-tive enrollment school.
After the presentation, the group toured the school and asked questions and interacted with teachers in art classes, PE programs, health science program, production studio program, and much more!


Johnson Ahead of the Health Curve

Our very own Coach Brandon works with the UIC Partnership for Health Promotion to provide informative and interactive health & nutrition workshops for all our 3rd-5th grade teams. But at Johnson, what Brandon didn’t know Justin and Derek were more than happy to answer for him!
Greg was surprised to learn the amounts of “hidden sugar” in the everyday foods he eats (or at least used to eat…). For example, there are over 9 teaspoons of sugar in 1 Coke. That means after drinking 1 can of soda you have already gone over your daily recommended sugar intake! After studying a few nutrition labels, we all learned that if you can’t pronounce an ingredient you probably shouldn’t eat it!


Robotics Takes Over At Hughes

The 3-5 grade boys at Hughes are natural science nerds - they love to take things apart and put them back together again. This fall season their coaches incorporate aspects of engineering and design into their homework help period by offering an opportunity to build and tinker with robots and engineering kits.
Travis and his two partners were challenged to build a robot that could move from one place to another using only solar energy. The 3-5th boys worked together in teams to create robots using aspects of the engineering
design cycle (plan, create, test, evaluate, complete) and were rewarded with TLC tickets for level of commitment to the project.
This winter, in partnership with The Museum of Science and Industry, Hughes students will begin an astronomy course: creating models & exploring Mars!

Gettin’ Loud @ The Slam!

Another successful fall season came to a close on November 20th as partner school Mason Elementary played host to the Community Poetry Slam! With over 580 SCORES students representing 10 neighborhood schools taking part, the Mason auditorium was rocking. The audience was truly united by the power of poetry!
Each student had a chance to shine on stage: elementary school teams and individual poet-athletes took the spotlight as they presented their group pieces and personal poems which they developed throughout the season.
This was followed by the debuts of the Middle School teams’ music videos. Each team video was composed with the help of TPAC Productions and contained the teams’ original song.
School and team awards capped off a spectacular evening. Individual poet-athletes and the Plamondon Elementary girls team were selected by a panel of judges to perform at the Red Carpet Poetry Slam to take place February 4th at the School of the Art Institute Ball Room downtown.

Giovanni L.. of Eli Whitney Elementary Takes the Stage at the Community Poetry Slam!

6th-8th Graders Prepare for Launch

At the Passport to High School Success Fair on November 13th SCORES middle school students took part in an engaging full day of high school readiness activities. Students were immersed in the world of interviews for one session. Proper etiquette and preparation was discussed (bright lip gloss and “big hair” won’t do!) before the students took their turn at mock interviews with an array of professionals.
SCORES participants also got to ask a diverse panel of current high school students all the pressing questions that have been plaguing and stressing them as their departure from elementary school looms large. A lot of fears were put to bed, but alas the food does not improve much in high school…
Navigating the often complicated CPS high school search and application pro-cess was covered during the last session. The daunting high school booklet was tamed as students used it to complete a scavenger hunt.

#GivingTuesday! Get Involved!

Good afternoon SCORES fans! 

If you haven’t heard, today is #GivingTuesday, a national day dedicated to giving back! 

On this #GivingTuesday we would love for you to consider a gift to America SCORES Chicago. Help us provide free after school programming for over 500 Chicago Public School students. 

Click the image to get involved

Click the image to get involved

Kick it with SCORES - Fall Programming 2015!

It's the moment we've all been waiting for - America SCORES 2015 fall programming is just around the corner! Practices will begin shortly in our ten local schools for our elementary (3rd - 5th) and middle school (6th - 8th) boy's and girl's soccer teams and writing. The first Game Day will be September 25. We are excited at SCORES for another season of soccer, creativity, and fun!

We also have two big events in the fall: Inspired Art and the Community Poetry Slam. Inspired Art combines students' original poetry and the talents of local Chicago artists. Artists select a student's poem and create a new work inspired by that poem. The Community Poetry slam is the culminating event of the fall season. Poets from across our program come together and present their original work! 

Dates and Location

Game Days (Fridays): 9/25; 10/2; 10/9; 10/16; 10/23; 10/30; 11/6; 11/12

Sign up to be a volunteer: HERE

Inspired Art: October 17, Jackson Junge Gallery, Wicker Park 

Buy your Early Bird Tickets: HERE

Community Poetry Slam: November 20, Mason Elementary 

Contact for volunteer information




Print out our handy infographic for your convenience! 

Deserving SCORES Stars Excel at Soccer Summer Camp

Over the summer break, a few of our well deserving poet-athletes were invited to the 2015 UIC Soccer Camp*. While at the camp they were able to improve upon their skills and receive top class training from some of Chicago's best soccer coaches. Sean Phillips, the UIC men's soccer coach , has been a huge SCORES advocate over the years and he continued to show his passion for our organization by accepting two of our students into his summer camp. The students were treated to top class coaching and picked up some valuable lessons along the way.

Making this camp possible to our poet-athletes was Mary Jennings Sports Camp Scholarships. Theses scholarships are highly selective and our students exemplified the kind of student athletes that the scholarships searches for. Thank you to The Playing for Power Project* for making this a possibility! 

At the end of the camp, our poet-athletes felt inclined to send a thank you note to both the people that organized the camp and those that made the opportunity available to them. Take a look at the thank you notes yourself...

Dear Mary Jennings Scholarship, Playing for Power, UIC Soccer Camps


Thank you for letting me go to the UIC camps I liked going there because I got to learn other ways of using communication. I got to improve my soccer skills like passing the ball and working in teams. I also got to meet new people. They were nice to me and I was nice to them. The coaches were nice to me and I really enjoyed the week I was there and would love to go back next year. Thank you for giving me the chance of participating in this soccer camp. I really liked playing and learning with the people at the camp.




Dear Mary Jennings Scholarship, Playing for Power and UIC Soccer Camps,

Thank you so much for paying for this opportunity for me to go to UIC soccer camp. It was wonderful! I enjoyed it very much. It was very fun and I got to learn new things there. The coaches were very nice. There were some new people I got to meet which was amazing. I had lots of fun.

My group was filled with a lot of boys which challenged me and I got to see myself do things that I never knew I can do and I improved my goal keeper skills, other than that I improved my confidence with playing with new people. The groups were separated by age and each group would play a couple of games and then snack time and the people that were half day would leave. Then we would have trivia or you could play awhile then we would play a game with all groups. After that we would go back to our group and play a game of scrimmage together. It was an awesome camp!

There weren’t many girls but other than that I had a lot of fun playing with the guys and hopefully I can come back next year!

Thanks again,


Melany and Yaritzy

Just to echo the words of these brilliant young ladies, THANKS to everyone that made this opportunity possible. You are making a difference and helping the youth of today become the leaders of tomorrow. Well done!



SCORES Kicks Off Upcoming Season with Team Retreat

Last week, SCORES staff came together for the annual team office retreat. This time serves as an excellent way to debrief before the school year begins, connect with team members, and explore our organizational “culture” – the ways we behave, think, and believe as a team here at SCORES.

Tuesday, 8/18

The day began with a slideshow presentation of the 2014 – 2015 school year: game days, program events, students busy at work with their writing and soccer. Afterwards, Amy led the group in a morning energizer to get the team up and moving. Working in pairs of “suns” and “moons,” team members formed two circles based on their astronomical body while facing their partner, orbited around each other in opposite directions, and then had find their partner and perform a certain action once the music stopped (i.e., touching elbow to elbow).

After a brief discussion of an effective office feedback model (advice vs. feedback in the workplace), we moved on to individual staff team-builders. Each staff member was responsible for leading a three to five minute team exercise that reflected SCORES curriculum that could also be used with students, staff, and coaches. After each activity, staff could receive feedback on their activity and leadership style.

Interspersed between team-builders and group discussion was the song challenge. Earlier in the week, staff members sent in the song they considered to be their “pump up” song. We had to guess which song belonged to whom, which proved to be moderately difficult on the whole: for example, diverse genre selections ranged from the Sister Sledge hit “We Are Family,” Kayne West’s “Champion,” Modest Mouse’s “Float On,” Blackstar’s* “Respiration,” and Alicia Key’s “Girl on Fire.”

The afternoon’s second group team-builder involved the use of SCORES Moments, written recollections by staff members of memorable events during the year. SCORES Moments were given to groups of three and organized according to the groups’ interpretation of the moment into the SCORES model.

After this brainstorming session, we refueled at Three Happiness Restaurant in nearby Chinatown, followed by a guided painting session at Color Cocktail Factory,* where we were able to paint part of the Chicago skyline!

SCORES staff proudly display their creations at Color Cocktail Factory. 

Thursday, 8/20

          On Thursday morning, Coach Mario ironically warmed the team up with the ‘Silent Game,” in which he acted as though he forgot his materials for his team-building activity. It was actually a communication exercise; he wanted to say who would speak up or ask questions about his behavior or activity.

            The team-building theme for Thursday was “Team Machine.” After Coach Mario’s exercise, we moved into a game of mechanical charades. Breaking into two teams, each team randomly drew a machine (hole puncher, scanner, fan, etc.) and had to physically make the machine using everyone on the team. One person from each group served as the guesser, both waiting in the hallway while their team devised a plan.

Left to right: Aisha, Mario, Brian Bullington, Kari, and Melissa make a hole puncher, while Dean attempts to guess. 

Left to right: Roy (seated), Aiden (seated), Clarese and Amy practice making a rice cooker. 

From there, we moved on to what would be our next group team-building activity, involving the ever-interesting concept of the Rube Goldberg Machine. Named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg, the machine is most typically in several parts and “over-designed,” meant to complete one very simple task with intense complication. Think of turning the newspaper page, but instead using a set of chain reactions to get the job done. Here at SCORES, we strive to work with functionality opposite the Rube Goldberg Machine, but we had fun making our own nonetheless!

Right to left: Kari, Melissa, Mario, and Aisha construct their team machine. 

Left to right: Clarese, Amy, Brian Fisher, Aiden, and Laura construct their team machine. 


Such heated competition worked up our appetites, and the team headed into Pilsen to eat lunch at El Mezquite Taquiera. Afterwards, we stretched our legs at Jefferson Park, flying kites, playing volleyball, tossing the football, and enjoying the last day of a great team retreat.

*Blackstar is a collaboration of rappers Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Common. 

*Check out the Color Cocktail Factory here:








SCORES FORES FootGolf Fundraiser Brings the Fun

August 15, 2015 – America SCORES Chicago had fair weather and a new sport on their side as they hosted the first annual SCORES FORES FootGolf Fundraiser at the Edgebrook Golf Course. FootGolf combines the sport of soccer and rules of golf to create a hybrid sport easily accessible to potential players, regardless of ability or experience. This past Saturday, eighty-eight participants took to the green and played a full-course in support of SCORES programming, including members of the Deerfield High School boy’s soccer team.

Participants also had the opportunity to test their skills at two challenge-based holes, featuring the Longest Drive (striking the farthest distance) and Closest to the Pin (based on proximity to the flag on a three-par hole). Beverage donations provided by the Lagunitas Brewing Company kept adult players cool and refreshed during the day’s play. After the game was finished, participants gathered in the field house to learn the winners and participate in the ticket raffle, with prizes awarded to various Chicago restaurants and establishments.

America SCORES Chicago would like to thank our SCORES FORES participants, Edgebrook Golf Course, the Illinois FootGolf Association, our board members, and the Lagunitas Brewing Company for contributing to a successful fundraiser!

Edgebrook Golf Course,

Illinois FootGolf Association,

SCORES students meet soccer SUPERSTARS

This past Wednesday, July 31, 2015, seven lucky America SCORES Chicago kids from Castellanos, Johnson and Pilsen were invited to be part of the great Manchester United vs. Paris Saint German International Champions Cup Tournament match as opening ceremony escorts for the players! These lucky kids were provided with not just their very own official team kit, but with a chance of a lifetime, to mingle with some of futbol’s international superstars and boy did they love it! I honestly do not know who was more excited about this awesome opportunity, the kids, the parents or us, their coaches, but I do know this, seeing them smiling, talking, laughing, waving to the fans with one hand while holding onto their player with the other as they were paraded onto the pitch is a priceless moment that I’ll treasure in my heart forever! I must tip my hat to these international superstars because I saw them doing everything they could to make our kids feel at ease, allowing them to really enjoy this moment of a lifetime!

I saw PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic smiling, laughing as he walked with our Emily Torres from Pilsen! Marco Varatti also from PSG was paired up with a Pilsen boy but that didn’t stop him from talking it up with our third grader, as was M.U.’s Juan Mata with our very own, first grader Ceci Sandoval! Ceci couldn’t stop talking about her two minutes of fame all night. Third grader Dida Bravo from Cardenas, representing Castellanos, is a big Ibra fan and though he wasn’t paired with him, first thing he shared with his dad & me was that Ibra had winked at him! He was wide-eyed and grinning from ear to ear as he excitedly told us his story! "I called out his name and he looked and winked at me!"

Ibra and PSG, I went to the match not being a fan, but after seeing the way you catered to the kids, the fans, you now have one more! Rooney & M.U., win or lose I will always love you guys!!! Thank you Manchester United & Paris Saint-Germain for providing America SCORES Chicago with this opportunity for our kids, thus showing them that dreams can come true! 

- Coach Ernie Alvarez




Thanks to Coach Ernie for all of his hard-work and dedication to SCORES and most importantly to the SCORES students. 

Shout! Teamwork at its Finest

Shout! always makes for a special game day: poet-athletes partner with a player from the opposing team and interview each other. Then, with all they’ve learned about each other they create a poem.

Despite different cultural backgrounds, the kids often learn they have much more in common than just the beautiful game of soccer and fast become friends!

This year, a Chicago community scavenger hunt took place as the kids cleaned up Douglas Park. Bet you didn’t know the world’s first sky scraper was built in Chicago!

Sights & Sounds of Jamboree

The crisp smell of freshly cut grass, the cacophony of ref's whistles and cheering fans, and the rainbow of SCORES jerseys that swarmed  Douglas Park around 9am -  all signs that Jamboree was underway Saturday, June 6th. 

Stresses of the spring semester have begun to dissolve and melt away: replaced with infectious laughter, smiles and fun. Grills were smoking, burgers sizzling, kids shouting, soccer balls soaring and coaches splashing in the dunk tank.

It was a festive time for all the family members, teachers, coaches, volunteers and community members who helped celebrate the successes and accomplishments achieved by all of the poet-athletes this spring.

At Hughes, The Learning Continues…

10-12 Hughes parents started taking GED classes this March with an eye on passing the test in the fall. By participating in the program, these parents are showing their kids at Hughes the value and importance they place on education.  SCORES is thrilled to partner with Mr. Landfair - an instructor who is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the success of the parents.

“ The parents are ready and motivated to do the work it takes to get their GED. Every session they bring great energy into the space as they learn together in a positive environment . They hold each other accountable for attending each day of class and even  have their children pick up homework if they can’t make it.”

- Coach Aisha , the Resource Coordinator at Hughes

Pilsen Girls Explore Their Community & Take Action

In preparation for spring service learning, Coach Laura took the Pilsen Elementary Girls Team on a trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Harrison Park. On their way, they walked down 18th street and took notes on what they saw, heard, smelled and touched in the Pilsen community. Once there, they found pictures of people who reminded them of themselves, and of people who were different from them They talked about what makes up a community and how groups of people identify and solve their problems. For their student-led service learning project the girls chose to run a bake sale with the proceeds benefiting The Center On Halsted. They support youth affected by HIV/AIDS.

Johnson Wildcats Put on a Show

Teamwork was at the forefront this spring; alongside the TPAC performing arts instructors, teachers, staff, and City Year members all helped the students prepare for the Peter Pan show. Each day teachers and City Year worked with students in small groups as a part of English and Language Arts class. As preparation for the final performance ramped up, they helped the students read and memorize their lines from the Peter Pan script, and honed their voice quality, volume and stage presence. In addition, Mr. Cvengros (the music teacher) assembled a choir to back the main characters and used their class time to learn the songs. 

The team effort and hard work paid off as the Johnson students put on a Peter Pan master class at Collins High School on May 22nd and 23rd.

Hunt4Soccer & Coach Dean Visit Mason

Hunt4Soccer, a foundation started in memory of Hunt Silcock, provided SCORES with over 300 soccer balls this spring. Master Soccer Coach Dean ran 90 minute clinics for every elementary and middle school team this spring and at the end of each training session gave a soccer ball to each participant. The balls are donated to SCORES kids to provide the opportunity not only to learn, play and enjoy the game of soccer, but to also teach the importance of team effort, fair competition and good sportsmanship.

This was Mason’s inaugural season and their Poet-athletes were particularly engaged and hungry to learn from the best…