A third-grader holds his coach’s cell phone to his ear with his shoulder. His hands are occupied, pencil and notebook at the ready. He knows what information he is looking for. He speaks confidently, professionally. He’s never called a business before, but he’s rehearsed this conversation, with his coaches and classmates playing the roles of store personnel.
“Can you please tell me the largest piece of plywood you sell?”
One teammate sits close in hot anticipation. He didn’t feel comfortable making the call, but in his lap lay the final designs for a sign his team hopes to create and attach permanently to the fence in front of their school. The design had gone through several edits. The team agrees now; it’s perfect. They are proud.
At a computer across the room sit a pair of sixth grade girls. Originally, they sat down to find the phone number for the hardware store. Now they’re perusing the Home Depot website, researching paint colors and prices. They hope not only to use it on their sign, but to also spruce up the antique fire call boxes around their community like they’ve seen done in more affluent neighborhoods.
This is a snapshot of a scene unfolding in DC SCORES writing classrooms across Washington, DC this spring. Our coaches are taking a backseat, offering guidance and resources, as the students implement sustainable projects of their own design to address and impact issues observed in their communities.
The students are gaining real-life experience and job readiness, sharpening academic and higher-order thinking skills, developing strong ties to their communities, and positively contributing to their schools’ climates and environments.
This is service-learning. This is DC SCORES.
The DC SCORES spring season, beginning in March, pairs soccer with service-learning. The students at each of our partner schools put their teamwork to good use by developing and implementing a project to help their community.
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