AMERICA SCORES CHICAGO

Write. Play. Achieve.

Chicago, IL   |  https://www.chicagoscores.org/

Mission

America SCORES Chicago inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, to be engaged students, and to have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.

Ruling year info

2012

Executive Director

Amy Mummery

Main address

600 West Cermak Road Suite 204

Chicago, IL 60616 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4386992

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Soccer Clubs/Leagues (N64)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ASC aims to address the issues of childhood obesity, illiteracy and the lack of adult mentors and role models among the Chicago youth we serve. The need: • 98.7 % of the 500 students we serve in our core Literacy in Action program qualify for free or reduced lunch.
• 84.3% of our 3rd-5th grade students are below grade level reading performance.
• 20% are English Language Learners (40% in the Little Village neighborhood)
• Overweight or obesity prevalence among CPS students in North Lawndale is between 40-46% and between 47-53% in Little Village.
• A staggering 61% of households in North Lawndale are comprised of single parent families. To compound matters, every other adult is in the criminal justice system (53%) – depriving the youth of vitally important role models and mentors.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Literacy in Action

Purpose & Goals: America SCORES Chicago offers free programming in low-income, under-served communities of Chicago where the challenges of low literacy, childhood obesity, and poor decision- making are particularly acute. Unfortunately, these are also the communities and schools which often lack the resources and programming necessary to combat these issues. The long-term goals of America SCORES are to reduce childhood obesity, promote engaged learning and creative expression, and encourage civic engagement and leadership. America SCORES combats obesity and illiteracy in not only a crucial age group, but at a crucial time— after the school bell rings, when students are frequently unsupervised. Our program uses the bonds created by the team sport of soccer, shared creative expression and service learning to reinforce the long-term personal traits that we want our students to attain: teamwork, leadership, and commitment. Providing a foundation in sport, literacy, and service, we are helping students learn about the self, and understand how they can make a positive difference as they grow into responsible citizens.

Core Program/Services: SCORES uses poetry, creative expression, hip hop and presentation as tools for building literacy skills, self-confidence and classroom participation in communities with starkly under-performing schools. Bringing the team spirit developed on the soccer field into the classroom, twice-weekly writing workshops develop student voice, encourage creativity, and adhere to the four touchstones of language acquisition— reading, writing, speaking and listening. The elementary and middle school curricula are age appropriate, and have been shown to increase writing skills, standardized reading scores, school-day participation and the independent reading habits of participants.
Complementing the twice weekly literacy portion, the elementary poet-athletes engage 1.5 hour soccer trainings and games an additional three days a week. All of the soccer activities help to increase students’ physical fitness; improve students’ conflict resolution skills; and promote the values of healthy eating and regular exercise. The curriculum incorporates nutrition/healthy living lessons and challenge games designed to emphasize America SCORES’ core values of teamwork, leadership and commitment.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The long-term goals of America SCORES are to reduce childhood obesity, promote engaged learning and creative expression, and encourage civic engagement and leadership. To reach these goals, each year we strive for the following:

Goal 1: Provide team-based soccer activities/practices that encourage healthy living and promote physical fitness.

• Objective 1: In the fall, hire/retain and train 30 Chicago public school teachers to deliver the America SCORES soccer and health curriculum and serve as coaches and mentors.
• Objective 2: In the fall and spring seasons, engage 550 students in 6 hours of soccer three times per week for 22 weeks to build teamwork and leadership and soccer skills.
• Objective 3: On each day of programming, incorporate age-appropriate lessons in health, nutrition, and hydration into each soccer practice, making health topics more accessible and engaging for youth.

Goal 2: Provide engaging poetry and creative writing workshops that promote the development of literacy skills and encourage self-expression for at-risk youth in addition to improving classroom and test performance.
• Objective 1: In the fall, hire/retain and train 30 Chicago public school teachers to deliver the America SCORES Power of Poetry creative writing curriculum as writing coaches.
• Objective 2: From September through June, engage 550 students in 4 hours of writing workshops twice per week for 22 weeks that use poetry, creative writing and expression as tools to encourage literacy.
• Objective 3: Bi-annually, compile and publish a by-kids-for-kids magazine of students' original poetry, distributed to America SCORES poet-athletes, coaches, families, and supporters.

Goal 3: Build student leadership skills and civic awareness through youth-led service learning projects.

• Objective 1: In the spring, train and support the America SCORES writing coaches to lead students through the America SCORES Writing for the Community curriculum.
• Objective 2: From March through June, provide a process for students to learn about their communities and identify a need that directly affects their neighborhood, school, or city.
• Objective 3: Between May and June, provide tools and resources for students to plan and execute a project to address that need, as well as to share their efforts with the community at large.

Goal 4: Unite students' families, schools, and their surrounding communities through educational and celebratory events and activities in all 9 Chicago Public schools we work with.

• Objective 1: Provide weekly soccer game-days where families are encouraged to cheer for their students and teams and the participants interact with kids from different communities.
• Objective 2: Provide public spoken-word events throughout the year where families and community members can hear their students' teams perform their original poems on stage (Poetry SLAM!).
• Objective 3: Facilitate annual public community celebration events in the spring and fall

For over a decade, America SCORES Chicago has been delivering 20-25 weeks of high quality, comprehensive after-school programming free to elementary and middle school students in Chicago's low-income, West Side neighborhoods. America SCORES employs a unique, three-pronged, invigorating blend of soccer (including physical fitness and nutrition workshops), creative writing (spoken word, hip-hop and poetry training aligned with national literacy standards for educators) and community service to inspire program participants to be engaged students, lead healthy lives, and become agents of change in their community. All aspects of the program are grounded in youth development principles and practices, and are rooted in the core values of America SCORES: Teamwork, Leadership and Commitment. The combination of soccer, creative writing and service-learning develops students' physical health in tandem with their social/emotional and academic growth. America SCORES ensures equal access by working in the students' schools, proving transportation to special events, and ensuring there are no tryouts to join.

America SCORES uniquely addresses a variety of gaps in our under-resourced communities through:
• structured athletics not otherwise available to the majority of students in the age groups served;
• enriching academic engagement at schools that typically only have the budget for remedial after-school courses or tutoring sessions; and
• empowerment and tools for students to positively impact their communities.

In 2000, America SCORES Chicago began serving 3rd through 5th graders exclusively in the City's low-income West Side communities. Over the past few years, America SCORES has been growing vertically within our schools, first expanding offerings to middle school students, then developing curricula for K-2nd graders (Junior SCORES), and finally introducing the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds and Healthy Communities intersession curriculum to serve students during school vacations. In 2012, CPS mandated recess for every school, and America SCORES responded by developing Play with Potential, a series of indoor and outdoor games to keep recess time active and inclusive. As school partners came to recognize the caliber and commitment of the organization, they began seeking out ways of partnering more deeply. The Community Schools Initiative provided this opportunity. As Lead Partner Agency at five community schools, America SCORES works to meet the comprehensive needs of our youth by coordinating all out of school time programming and partnerships to best meet the expressed needs of the school and the community. Last year, we began developing a robust High School Readiness Initiative for middle school students (Grades 6-8) called Passport to High School Success. Through the program, youth participate in a range of activities that encourage them to explore their unique personal and career interests and reach higher to achieve their goals.

America SCORES Chicago has a healthy and active board of directors, comprised of 12 preeminent business and community leaders who are dedicated to the success of SCORES and who donate their time, energy and skills to the organization. A revitalized and committed Development Board provides volunteer hours, in-kind donations, knowledge, and corporate connections to further the SCORES cause.

SCORES' continued success and growth is based upon the effectiveness of its programming, the broad base of community partners, and a dedicated and capable staff. America SCORES draws from and builds the talent within partner schools by hiring, training, and supporting over 35 local CPS teachers to serve as coaches and mentors in the program. SCORES continues its practice of hiring enthusiastic, resourceful and highly capable staff (16 full time, 1 part time), supported by an infusion of service corp members (Coach Across America and VISTA members). SCORES also draws strength from our pool of nearly 35 coaches and 50 volunteers per year. America SCORES Chicago believes that volunteers are the glue that binds the organization and ensures we remain interwoven in the communities we serve.

Over the past few years, America SCORES Chicago has partnered with over fifty business, university, community, school, philanthropic, government and social sector organizations in the city. Understanding that SCORES is only as strong as its relationships with these partner organizations we are incessantly working to strengthen existing bonds and forge new ones. Collaboration with outside organizations allows SCORES to remain sustainable and to diversify our program offerings in areas outside of writing, soccer and service learning to better serve our participants. Key partner examples:

Rosario Castellanos Elementary School – Castellanos has been a partner school since Chicago joined the America SCORES team in 2000. Over the past several years, SCORES has had the opportunity to build relationships with students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and other school agencies and organizations, by participating fully in the school community. Castellanos currently represents one of our 7 partnering CPS (Chicago Public School) elementary schools; the others include Hearst, Pilsen, Hay, Hughes, Spry, and Johnson.

University of Illinois at Chicago – Given the breadth of UIC's resources, we are able to partner on many fronts with the University. Healthy living and approaches to a balanced diet were explored with The Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion (UIC CPHP) through specially designed workshops for students and coaches. With respect to the soccer component, the men's soccer team and head coaches serve as mentors to our coaches and students. The head coach leads one of our coaching developments sessions each year and the players volunteer at game days to ref.

America SCORES Chicago strives to deliver holistic programming which address children's need for physical, educational, social emotional, and leadership development. America SCORES Chicago has accomplished this first through its own award winning program, then through orchestration of Community Schools partnerships, and finally by providing an access point for diverse corporate and community partners to positively impact schools in high-need areas.

After establishing its 3rd-5th grade Literacy in Action program on Chicago's West Side, America SCORES began expanding its impact by building new school partnerships and by developing new programs to address areas of need:
-6-8th grade Leadership in Action
-K-2nd grade Junior SCORES
-Play with Potential Recess Facilitation (in response to CPS' mandatory recess policy)
-Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Communities Intersession/Vacation programming (In response to CPS' move to year-round calendar)
-Passport to High School Success, which leads middle schoolers through steps of self understanding, career exploration, and goal charting, eventually guiding students through the process of choosing a High School which is the best fit for them.

America SCORES Chicago now offers a comprehensive collection of programming for K-8 schools, all grounded in the benefits of creative expression, team sport, healthy lifestyles, and school and community engagement.

As a school-based program, recent years have also presented challenges as changes in the Chicago Public School hours and calendar year impacted school needs and available hours for programming. The 2012-2013 sweeping school closures across the system shut down long-standing school partnerships.

Over the coming years, America SCORES seeks to grow its impact through new school partnerships, through the development of alumni engagement opportunities, through new partners with organizations around high school and college preparation, by strengthening the health component of its soccer curricula, and by continuing to innovate to meet new needs as they are expressed by our students, families and schools.

Financials

AMERICA SCORES CHICAGO
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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AMERICA SCORES CHICAGO

Board of directors
as of 12/4/2017
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Matt Raino

Madison Dearborn Capital Partners

Term: 2010 -

Amy Vondra

Chicago Public Schools

Mike Jancosek

William Blair

David Weinberg

Rothschild Global Advisory

Alex Fisher

Madison Dearborn Partners

Sam Johnson

Chicago Red Stars

Mike Nettesheim

Madison Dearborn Partners

Amy Mummery

America SCORES Chicago

Sumit Roy

Northern Trust

Brian Irion

AonHewitt

Kevin Knapp

Market Strategy Group