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PhillySUN Profile: Dontae Privette

PhillySUN Profile: Dontae Privette


My name is Dantae Privette. I’m the executive director of the Kingsessing Roadrunners and our organization has been in the community since 1969. Originally we were a football team, about two years ago, we started thinking a little differently like how can we actually maximize the impact of what a sports season could do for a child. So we adopted three other sports – other than football – rugby, lacrosse and basketball. And we’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth as much as we try to keep the lid on it and not tell anybody about it and hide it from people it just finds a way to keep growing. It starts with a student club, so every kid in the community can come here and take advantage of free tutoring, homework help, the computer lab. But the basic idea is just to keep kids in shape and give them access to more academic support. When we first started, I felt like the main thing that we needed to do is get the community back into our programs. So when it came to schools, we thought about the things that we can offer schools and what their students could benefit from. We got away from teaching so many sport skills and we really just started having conversations with people. Conversations with the kids talking about what they learned in school today, what they felt about their neighborhood how they feel about their world and their choices in it. And we started going back to schools and saying these are the things that your students came up with. These are the things that they struggle with that they need an outlet for. You kind of force a little community to happen and see what comes out of it. Our original mission for starting the Roadrunners is to provide an environment where kids can learn sports skills and life skills and I think even 50 years later, we’re doing the same exact thing. It’s not only a place that you find out who you are, but you also find out who your kids are and your kids find out who their kids are. It’s something that you passed down through your family, this rec center and these programs. We want to make sure we’re teaching these skills to our kids, like we want to make sure it’s important to them on the field, off the field, in school. Life is just competition and if you don’t know all of the information and you don’t have the opportunity to access some of the things that our other neighborhoods have in their schools You won’t be able to get it and those are the types of things that we look to fill with our programs. Club nights are always open to everybody in the neighborhood so anybody whether you’re an elderly person that’s 80 years old or you’re a baby that’s eight months old you can come out here and just find out what the teams are doing how you can get involved what you can volunteer in, how you can engage not only yourself, but anybody else you know and we just try to have as much fun with that as we can. Like Mr. Bill shows up and keeps the computer lab over for the community, 30 hours a week but that’s not an actual program, but he’s been doing it for 20 years. So those are one of the things that to our community is so valuable because think about how many kids come here and get their homework done think about how many parents come here and find their next job, so they can feed their kids. It’s such a huge commodity and a huge resource to the neighborhood. So all of it takes community, all of it takes partnerships and all of it takes making sure that we find the right people and put caring adults around our kids. We want to get more people from the neighborhood that want to do fun stuff so if they want to do it, we’ll try it see where it goes.

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