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Friday, I volunteered with a cool group called America Scores. I had heard about them in the society section of CultureMap Dallas. They are an after-school program that helps fight obesity and illiteracy in the city with poetry, soccer, and community service.

I helped with a poetry slam at a school where the kids showed off what they learned this year. First, I labeled seats in the auditorium while the poets were rehearsing and got to hear some of their work. Then, I helped set out Subway sandwiches, drinks, and chips for the kids, parents, and teachers to eat before the slam started. It was pretty fun. I like to do that assembly line kind of work sometimes. It feels like a game.

And like I said before, I enjoy hanging out with kids sometimes. They are usually so enthusiastic and nice. The poet-athletes were excited that John Cena was on their Capri Sun pouches, and I heard one boy singing the “5-Dollar Footlong” song.

After a little cleanup, I went back into the auditorium to listen for a bit more before I had to leave. The sound system was not great, so I couldn’t hear everything, but those kids definitely have talent. I’m not a great judge of poetry, but I would have believed you if you told me some of those poems were written by famous poets. And some of the content was a little heartbreaking. One boy’s poem was about keeping his mom from crying and his dad out of jail.

Obviously, some of these students do not have the best home life, but America Scores is helping keep them healthy and teaching them a lot of valuable things, like teamwork, grammar, vocabulary, good sportsmanship, leadership, and community involvement.

Besides help at events, they also need coaches, referees, and help in the office. I plan to volunteer with them more. Writing, soccer, and community service? This is definitely a charity I can get behind!

I figured it was not kosher to take pictures of the kids, so here’s a picture of the sandwiches. However, they are also not kosher.