Late Night Summer Youth Basketball Program Kicks Off June 27
Collaboration honors memory of former Area IV leader, Sion Chambers, to further his legacy of working with young people and keeping them on the right track.
The Sion Chambers Memorial Late Night Summer Basketball Program, hosted by Cambridge Police and Cambridge Boys & Girls Club, will tip off a new year on Friday, June 27, at 6 p.m. at Cambridge Boys & Girls Club, 119 Windsor Street.
The program, now in its fifth year, was created in 2010 by the Cambridge Police and Boys & Girls Club of Cambridge as a way to respond to resident requests for a safer and quieter community during late weekend hours. The Sion Chambers Memorial Late Night Summer Basketball Program is offered in the Club’s indoor gym adjacent to Columbia Park and offers programming on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. -d 1 a.m. A true collaboration, the program is staffed by two Boys & Girls Club professionals and one police officer offering basketball, game room/social recreation and informal mentoring opportunities.
Mindful to not displace local teens, staff recruits youth to participate in positive activities during the hours where they are most at risk of exhibiting negative behaviors to themselves and their community. Staff and police leadership meet annually to review program goals and outcomes as they relate to youth, the community and furthering partnerships to address community needs.
Since its inception, the program has grown to consistently serve 30–40 teens per night. An analysis of 2013 participants demonstrated the program’s ability to meet its goals with these findings:
- 58% felt safer at the program than elsewhere in the community;
- 65% felt comfortable approaching at least two program staff with personal problems;
- 15% maintained participation in school year teen programming;
- 62% reported an improved perception and willingness to speak with police.
The Sion Chambers Memorial Late Night Summer Basketball Program was named for the beloved Sion Chambers, who passed away in 2011. Mr. Chambers worked at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House as the Area IV street worker and helped young adults who were at risk get back on track with their lives. ‘SI’ was a loving father, supportive brother, friend and colleague who worked in the community for over 20 years.