Unified District Poetry Slam on March 1 Features Golden State Warriors and Kia "Poetry 1-on-1" Program
Warriors Legend Alvin Attles Cheers Young Poet Performances at the San Francisco Public Library
The Warriors and Kia Motors, Official Vehicle of the Golden State Warriors, tuned-in for some remarkable spoken word performances Friday night for the Youth Speaks Unified District Poetry Slam Championships, held in the San Francisco Public Library's Koret Auditorium. The community partners, which teamed up to launch the "Poetry 1-on-1" community program in San Francisco last month, delivered $5,000 in scholarships to the top three placing schools. Warriors Legend & Community Ambassador Alvin Attles attended the four-round slam and presented San Leandro High, Richmond's RAW Talent and Newark Memorial High with their checks.
"To see teams across Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and the greater Bay Area work for months to get their poems ready and perform tonight was impressive and ending the event with the Warriors and Kia donating $5,000 in scholarship money to schools that are under-resourced will make a huge difference," said Youth Speaks Program Associate Brandon Santiago.
Assembling all of the performers in front of San Francisco Public Library's Koret Auditorium for a pre-event cheer circle, Alvin Attles, the 11-year veteran and 1974-75 NBA champion head coach, shared words of encouragement, jokes and well wishes for the talented participants. "On behalf of the Warriors and Kia, we would like to wish you good luck during this competition and have a great time tonight," said Attles.
Students dazzled Attles and the packed auditorium with their incredible stage presence, creativity and sophisticated lyrical command. The six San Leandro High School performers that won the first place prize of $2,500 expressed elation and gratitude to be given top honors among such a talented field.
"I appreciate what the Warriors and Kia did today with the scholarship funds because the money is going to the kids for better educational resources in our schools," said one student.
Though only three teams were able to take home prize money, all six teams and their classmates and friends received a Poetry 1-on-1 t-shirt and leather notebooks, courtesy of Kia and the Warriors. The Poetry 1-on-1 community program, which the Warriors and Kia launched on January 25 with an open microphone night at San Francisco's 826 Valencia and a $10,000 dollar donation to the Youth Speaks residency program, enjoyed an educational night of entertainment and cultural awareness. The next Community 1-on-1 event of the 2012-13 Warriors season will be the Grand Slam Finals of the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam on Saturday, May 11 at San Francisco's Nourse Theater.