Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Youth Poetry SLAM!

10 year old Anya Sampson from St Louis moves the audience with her inspirational poem, Powerful Me.

Youth Poetry SLAM! at NYSE raises $150,000 for national afterschool program

Monday, April 29 – New York /PRNewswire/ — For an audience of 300 at the New York Stock Exchange, including members of the New York Cosmos and New York Red Bulls, the America SCORES 7th Annual National Poetry SLAM! featured poetry performances by 27 elementary school children from 14 cities. Also in attendance were guests of honor football legend Shep Messing and soccer visionary, Joseph Tacopina. The event, a benefit for America SCORES, reached its $150,000 fundraising goal thanks largely to these honorees and their friends, including international soccer icon Pelé, who collectively matched the evening’s donations with $10,000. Funds will be used to continue delivering high-quality afterschool programs for 8,000 youth at no cost to their families. Donations can be made at:

The honorees also shared their perspectives on America SCORES:

“You can read about America SCORES, but when you see it come to life at the National Poetry SLAM!, it’s really a special thing,” Tacopina said. “America SCORES combines what I think are the key ingredients to be successful in life – literacy and sports. Having sport be part of their education, to me, is the magic elixir.”

“America SCORES has both opened my eyes and inspired me in terms of how soccer can be used to reach the country’s youth,” Messing said. “It is the most innovative way I have seen soccer help foster education, literacy, creativity, and social responsibility in urban cities across the country.”

For the students, the National Poetry SLAM! was the culmination of a semester of afterschool writing and performing workshops, and auditions in all 14 cities. Selected from thousands of America SCORES’ daily participants, these 27 students took center stage and wowed the audience with their poetry, confidence and creativity. Poetry included a group poem and 27 unique individual poems. Students’ individual poems focused on serious issues such as personal strength, immigration, self-confidence, family tragedy and also lighter youthful experiences such as getting in trouble, mastering tongue twisters and even a bad haircut!

The National Poetry SLAM! was made possible with generous support from adidas, ICAP Charity Day, Southwest Airlines, and Volkswagen Group of America.

About America SCORES
A national nonprofit organization, America SCORES partners with public schools in low-income communities to inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. America SCORES integrates soccer, poetry and service-learning to improve the health, academic achievement and civic engagement of 8,000 at-risk elementary and middle school youth in 14 cities each year. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Michelle Wong
212.868.9510 x305

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