June 4, 2012
Veteran Prosecutors Use Lacrosse Program to Reach At-Risk Youth
"We, Not Me" is the team motto for Supersonics Lacrosse, a program for at-risk youth in the Highpoint and Denny Middle School area of Seattle. PAO employees Hugh Barber and Mark Larson helped found the program out of their love of lacrosse, originally a Native American game. Barber and Larson wanted to expose this sport to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to play lacrosse.
Barber explained his involvement by stating, "Suburban kids have made lacrosse the fastest growing sport in America, but we thought it was time to expand the game to inner city kids who could benefit from, and add to, the local lacrosse community." Beyond offering a no-cost lacrosse opportunity for kids, Supersonics Lacrosse offers much more. During the lacrosse season, the Supersonics players practice three days a week and receive tutoring two days of the week.
Supersonics Lacrosse's mission is to prevent juvenile delinquency by offering youth positive, constructive and healthy experiences after school from 3:00-7:00, a high-risk time when many youth get into trouble. Supersonics volunteer instructors hope to build valuable interpersonal communication skills in youth through a team approach. Youth involved in the program are expected to give 100% on the field and to improve their academic performance during tutoring sessions. To ensure this, Larson and Barber communicate with the youths' teachers to identify areas where work is needed.
The program's website is http://www.supersonicslacrosse.org/. (external link)
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