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The University of Iowa and America Scores Bring Poetry to Teachers Nationwide for Third Year in a Row

Published 12-12-03

Submitted by Starbucks Corporation

NEW YORK, NY - America SCORES today announced that it will hold its third annual America SCORES/University of Iowa Urban Teachers' Workshop this summer. The workshop brings urban educators from public elementary schools in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC, to Iowa to benefit from the programs in writing at The University of Iowa. This intensive, ten-day course will focus on new methods and materials that can be used to enhance poetry and creative writing instruction in urban schools. The 2004 America SCORES/University of Iowa Urban Teachers' Workshop will be made possible by grants from The Starbucks Foundation and the WLS Spencer Foundation.

“Through America SCORES’ partnership with The University of Iowa, we have found an ideal way to develop poetry as a teaching tool,” says Paul Caccamo, president of America SCORES. “The University of Iowa has had unparalleled success in teaching writing to older students. We believe the America SCORES/University of Iowa Urban Teachers’ Workshop effectively translates this success to the nation’s youngest and neediest students."

Internationally known for its writing programs, the University of Iowa provides an ideal environment for this workshop. Led by Iowa's Poet Laureate, Marvin Bell, and assisted by teacher, writer and activist, Cecile Goding, the workshop provides urban public school teachers, who serve as America SCORES writing and soccer coaches, with the opportunity to learn about how poetry can be used as a gateway to literacy for public school children. Through a series of readings by guest authors, poetry workshops, and best-practices sessions, teachers gain indispensable tools to use in some of the nation’s most challenged public schools. In return for a chance to attend, America SCORES teachers must take what they have learned and share their knowledge with the other teachers in their schools through specially designed trainings.

“The Starbucks Foundation is pleased to support such a tremendous professional development opportunity for urban teachers,” said Cathie Bachy, program manager, Starbucks Foundation. “We believe the power of writing combined with the talent and dedication of these teachers make a significant impact in students' commitment to their learning.”

America SCORES is the nation’s only after-school program offering 8 to 12 year-olds the opportunity to play soccer while teaching them how to express themselves through creative writing. Programs are located in urban areas and focus on kids who are at-risk of academic failure. The program directly addresses two of the most important concerns of American families: literacy and fitness. At the same time, America SCORES programs revitalize whole communities by involving teachers, parents, and community leaders as volunteers.

The 2004 America SCORES/University of Iowa Urban Teachers' Workshop will take place from July 28th through August 5th on the University of Iowa campus.

America SCORES is a national model for youth development, targeting girls and boys in urban neighborhoods that offer few, if any, recreational programs. For more information visit

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