Night Court offers positive alternatives to teens, delivered through adult mentoring and team sports. The program runs for ten weeks in the summer, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. every Friday.
Fifteen adult volunteers serve as positive role models who provide guidance through mentoring, coaching, team-building, and individual one-on-one support. Volunteers include: Edran Marshall, Robert Williams, Bryce Hurst, Dontrel Robinson, Ontaygo Johnson, Corey Neely, Justin Webb, Joseph Clark, Koree Vinson and Meri Rose Napier.
Each Friday, the program begins with a healthy, 30-minute dinner where teens and volunteers eat a hot meal together with time to bond in a safe, informal environment.
Following dinner, a one-hour mentoring activity takes place. Each week features a topic with a lesson and interactive activity. Topics range, but include things like building trust, drug involvement and awareness, stereotypes and prejudice, cultural awareness and sensitivity, positive authority relationships, and self-identity.
Basketball skill-building sessions are followed by an eight-team basketball league for one and a half hours. Each team is coached by their assigned volunteer mentor. Not all of the volunteer mentors are proficient in basketball; mentors focus more on the importance of building a team atmosphere, good sportsmanship, and positive peer and authority figure interaction.
In addition to members participating in Night Court, other teens serving as Club volunteers are on-hand to help with set-up, meal preparation and serving, scoring games, and clean-up.
The first year of the program was a success by increasing the Club’s average daily attendance from 72 to 100, while decreasing crime rates from the time frames of 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Friday nights in the city.