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Is It Wednesday Yet?

Their sock-feet slid across the gymnasium floor as they chased basketball after basketball, rebound after rebound. 

Their laughter, squeals and energy were unmatched among the crowd of teenagers at Wednesday Night Live. But they didn’t care. They were just happy to be running around and playing after a long day of Kindergarten and First Grade.  

Starting Street2Street at this age isn’t normal. But neither is growing up without parents, being raised by a grandmother, going days without food and feeling unsafe playing outside. 

Their grandmother, and caretaker, works at the community center that hosts Wednesday Night Live, our after-school program that allows kids in Paterson to play basketball and be involved in a discussion group. Week after week she greets our students as if they were her own, and week after week she has her two grandsons sitting with her. 

After watching a couple of practices from the window of their Grandma’s office, Coach André invited them to be ball boys at practice. 

 

And Wednesday Night Live has never been the same. In fact, it has been better. The boys have been nicknamed the “Little Brothers” of Street2Street. They help during practice, cheer for whichever team has the ball, and most importantly, join in for the discussion group. They take their spot next to Coach André on the court and listen.  

They look up to the Street2Street players and coaches, says their Grandma. “All they talk about is Street2Street: what they learn, what they do, who they meet. And every single day they ask me if it’s Wednesday yet. They can’t wait for their favorite day of the week.” 

“My boys are safe here”, she shared joyfully. “They’re growing up with role models and a chance for a better future because of Street2Street investing in them now.” 

 

Until they all Play, Belong, and Matter.

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