The stage was set, the poems were written, and the poet-athletes were excited. It was finally time for America SCORES New York’s 14th Annual Poetry SLAM!
A favorite event of kids and coaches alike, Poetry SLAM gives our talented poet-athletes the opportunity to show off their creative writing skills to peers from other schools and their families.
(Champions PS 173 pictured with their trophy. Thank you photographer Luis Fonseca and SayCheeseKidz.com for capturing all the magic and the excitement of Elementary School Poetry SLAM 2017! Check out our Facebook page to see all the best shots!)
Shannon Schneeman (Executive Director) and Zach Gomes (Program Director) opened the night by welcoming all the poet-athletes as well as their coaches, teachers and families before bringing host for the night Natalie Caro on to the stage.
Host Natalie Caro and Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate and Harlem native Zora Howard both performed their own poetry, A Love Letter to the Bronx and Bodega, respectively.
Zora also served on our panel of judges (pictured above), joined by SCORES alum and former National Poetry Slam finalist Bobby Bastien, America SCORES New York board member Christa Stephens, Lilli Barrett-O'Keefe of Street Football World, poet, academic & New York Cosmos club historian David Kilpatrick, local poet at the Brotherhood/Sister Sol organization Jay'la Fenty, and Chair of the Community Board 12 Manhattan's Youth & Education Committee Fe Florimon.
After some brief review on the rules of SLAM and how sportsmanship is vital both on the field and on the stage, Caro welcomed the first poet-athletes of Poetry Slam 2017 to the stage.
The first to perform were the boys of PS 192 with the solo poems Dad by Angel DLR, I Am by Jayden L, Grandma by Cody J and The Clock by Charlie C. They finished up their performance with their group poem entitled Play.
The PS 192 Girls (pictured above) were the next group of talented poet-athletes to take the stage with I am a Girl by Chloe A, Dreams by Hennessey R, and Why by Giovanni K, ending with the group poem We Are Family.
Junior Scores is a new addition to SLAM this year. Poet-athletes at Dos Puentes in grades K-2 (pictured above) had the opportunity to try their hands at some poetry this year with their group poem I Am.
The boys from Dos Puentes clearly had soccer on the mind while they wrote their solo poems, America SCORES by Landin W, Soccer Heroes by Fernando E, Neymar by Adrian G, and their group poem, Beautiful Soccer With America SCORES.
The Dos Puentes girls (pictured above) showed their passion for girl power with their poems Dear Pencil by Josephine L., Nothing Can Stop My Dreams by Valentina L, All About Me by Jayla J, and their group poem, The Firegirls.
The PS 125 Junior SCORES (pictured above) poet athletes stuck with their passion when they wrote their poems Soccer for Jerimel by Jerimel J, Soccer for Chandler by Chandler F, Soccer Brothers by Everett & Benjamin L, and group poem Soccer is Cool.
Then the PS 125 Boys (pictured above and below) took the stage, beginning with their solo poems entitled Bullying by Mario R, Basketball Soccer by Samuel M, Blue by Nize C, and finishing it off with group poem, Mom
The girls of PS 125 got into the festive season with their poems The Christmas Special by Heaven R, Faith R, Justina S, Amylee H & Anya D, Christmas on a Cold Night by Sofia G & Emy P, The Difference by Hillary P & Yariah M, and Snowy Day in The Park by Daphne VM. They ended with their group poem, I Can.
Our final team of Junior SCORES poet-athletes (pictured above) came from PS 161 with their performance of their group poem Music.
Next up on our roster were the boys of PS 161 (pictured below) with their solo poems Undefeated by Jorge M, Trains by Fareed S, and Coach Nana by Cedrick R, and their group poem, Teamwork.
PS 161 were the next to perform with solo poems Soccer Girls by Yoliany D, My Mom by Jaylene R, My Grandma by Angelina J, Jay Jay by Ameil Thoma, and their group poem, If I Ruled The World.
Then America SCORES NY’s first Brooklyn-based team performed their solo poems Turtles by Jovany H, Video Games by Raine L, and Soccer by Timothy S.E, followed by their group poem, Game Play.
Following the stellar performances of the boys of PS 249 were the PS 249 girls, who began their set with Holy Guacamole by Rachel SE, Me by McKenzie Q, Beautiful Tiger by Zoe S, Best Friends by Melisa PR & Joselin C, and Me by Jaylee Tineo. They finished with their group poem, Days of Christmas.
The next to perform were PS 153 Boys (pictured above) with their appropriately-themed poems Soccer by Makea D, What I Like About Soccer by Alpha D, Soccer is Rad by Samuel N, and group poem The Beautiful Game?
The girls of PS 153 also had soccer on their mind with their poems The Soccer Stalker by Ashley SC, Dreaming About Soccer by Christel E, Soccer is Exciting by Alexa A, and group poem, The Wolverines.
The boys from PS 4 (pictured above and below) were next with their array of poems, beginning with School by Angel S, If I Were by Dayvian H, Soccer & Poetry by Stanley R, and their group poem Thanks for Believing.
The inspiring poems from PS 4 continued with the girl’s team (pictured below). Their solo poems were titled Life’s a Journey by Juliana P, Destined by Gianny A, Not Good Enough by Finesse G, and group poem, A Bright Future.
Our penultimate school, PS 173, did not go down without a fight with their boy’s poems entitled Why I’m Me by Devin R, This is My Life by Christopher S, and group poem We Are.
The PS 173 girls kept their time on stage short and sweet, but very effective with solo poem My Playground by Esmarlin E and group poem Kindness is Cooler (pictured below).
PS 98 proved that last is certainly not least with their poems Team Gemstars by Jaslene R My Best Day Ever by Eddie L, Vegetables vs. Candy Conversation Poem by Miley S & Amethyst P, The Mouse by Mirian P, Fire and Ice by Tre H & David V, and group poem Our Magical World.
While the judges were making some difficult decisions, our poet-athletes expressed themselves in a different way through a wildly competitive dance party! Everyone brought their best moves to the stage and definitely impressed the crowd.
Finally, it was time to announce the winners. After giving out the individual Spirit Award Winners, MC Natalie Caro announced the trophy winners. The third place winner was PS 192 Boys, preceded by second place winners PS 153 Boys, and the big winners were PS 173 Girls. Incredible sportsmanship and creativity was shown by all of our poet-athletes, and we could not have asked for a better SLAM!
Second placed PS 192 Boys
Third placed 153 Boys
Champions PS 173 Girls!
We want to extend a huge thank you to our principals and coaches! We could not have done this without you!
PS 192: Principal Hilduaro Abreu, Coach Enrique Garcia, Coach Shanell Sharpe, Coach Sugedy Reyes, Coach Calieb Gonzalez, Coach Willy Theodore, Coach Konstantin Kulakov, and Coach Gloria Medina.
Dos Puentes: Principal Victoria Hunt, Coach Osvaldo Merino, Coach Ingrid Rosas, Coach Jamar Austin, Coach Consuelo Villegas, and Coach Arilda Crisostomo
PS 125: Principal Reggie Higgins, Coach Zahkiya Brown, Coach Jose Recinos, Coach Joshua Jimenez, Coach Crystal Ferguson, and Coach Emmanuel Batista
PS 161: Principal Pamela Price-Haynes, Coach Nana Boateng, Coach Eric Quatrone, Coach Clemencia Acevedo, and Coach Jackie Delgado
PS 249: Principal Elisa Brown, Coach Hugues Desarouilles, Coach Beauregard Allen, and Coach Antoine Bogard
PS 153: Principal Karen Bailey, Coach Jason Hart, and Coach Maia Sanchez
PS 4: Principal Adam Stevens, Coach Chris Lantigua , Coach Olson Martinez, Coach Petra Corporan, and Coach Matthew Perez
PS 173: Principal Rachael Garcia, Coach Brooke Baldinger, Coach Nilda Francisco, and Coach Luis Jimenez
PS 98: Principal Rodriguez Maritza, Coach Anna Shubin, Coach Kristin Boyle, Coach Anne-Catherine Mauk , and Coach Wendy Vega