The Sherrill Foundation Working with Team Prime Time
Team Prime Time is the largest organization founded in Los Angeles that is dedicated specifically to serving our most at risk kids, those in middle school. Team Prime Time provides intervention programs for at-risk children from low-income areas of Los Angeles that combine academics, athletics, leadership training and the arts in order to prepare them for the future and allow them to reach their full potential.
We have been proud supporters of Team Prime Time for several years. In 2013, The Sherrill Foundation enlisted FdL to develop a framework which monitors and measures the effectiveness of Team Prime Time’s programs. This methodology is proving that Team Prime Time’s innovative approach is positively impacting their participants both academically and socially.
PRIME TIME GAMES℠
Created in 2004, the PRIME TIME GAMES℠ (the GAMES) is Team Prime Time’s full-inclusion, peer-mentor sports program wherein the TPT students coach and play alongside children with developmental disabilities. As the centerpiece of the TPT Leadership component, the GAMES give at-risk middle school students the opportunity to give back to their community by creating an invaluable social and recreational environment that is truly a win-win situation, with both “athlete” and “coach” enjoying benefits that last a lifetime. For many of the “athletes” the GAMES represent the only chance to participate in a “real”, structured sports program.
Each Academic Year consists of three 10-week seasons at the middle school level: Fall, Winter and Spring. The Fall and Spring Seasons culminate with CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY, which is hosted by the UCLA Athletic Department in Spring. All told, the middle school “coaches” and “athletes” work together 30 weeks a year!
HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION – THE VARSITY GAMES℠
Building upon the formula that has made the GAMES such a success at the middle school level, the Varsity Games℠ creates full-inclusion teams by pairing underprivileged youth and children with special needs from the same high school. These blended teams compete against one another in the only League of its kind, giving children with developmental challenges the only real opportunity to participate in a mainstream high school sports experience (The “Varsity” experience).
The program began in 2012 with Venice High School and University High School competing against one another during Spring basketball season and Fall soccer season. The program tripled in size in 2013 with the addition of Fairfax High School, Dorsey High School, Los Angeles High School, and Hamilton High School to the League.
The Varsity Games℠ is a model program that meets the U.S. Dept. of Education’s directive that all schools either include children with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternative options.