The Christian Science Monitor

How one woman is taking an after-school program to the big leagues

Schoolteacher Julie Kennedy was working at an elementary school in Washington in the early 1990s when she noticed time and again that a number of her fifth-grade girls were hanging out on street corners after school.

A soccer player, Ms. Kennedy invited them to join her for a match or two in the hours following class. Her informal after-school program was a hit, and the students kept coming back – even well into the winter. So Kennedy turned to her love of poetry, inviting the girls to join her for some creative writing.

This is how DC Scores, an after-school program in Washington, got its start. Officially launched in 1994, the nonprofit has grown from its small group of girls to now involve 3,000 students – boys included – each day. It still focuses on soccer and poetry, and as part of its diverse offerings that have become a signature blend, it also emphasizes service. The range of programming helps children build confidence and have the tools needed

Neighborhood teamsD.C. UnitedThree other groups that engage children

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