Live from Queens, it’s ‘Saturday Night Lights’: Youth sports program expands at 17 locations

The city committed $5 million to expand the Saturday Night Lights program throughout the five boroughs with 17 new locations in Queens. (Photo courtesy of Queens DA’s office)

As part of the ongoing efforts to decrease youth violence across the borough, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz joined Police Commissioner Dermot Shea on Friday, July 9, to announce the expansion of 17 new Saturday Night Lights (SNL) program sites in Queens.

Katz called the expansion an important step in increasing access to this public initiative that is focused on youth development and violence prevention.

“The growth of the Saturday Night Lights program reflects the importance of empowering young New Yorkers to make good choices,” Katz said. “Without good choices, Saturday nights can provide too many opportunities for getting into trouble. Saturday Night Lights is a program that enables young participants to spend that time in positive ways, engaging in team building experiences, high-intensity sports and other recreational activities. This expansion across Queens represents keen investment in our youth, our communities, and public safety in our borough.”

The expansion of the program is supported by a commitment of $5 million in baseline funding Mayor de Blasio included in the city’s ”recovery budget.”

A key component of the program is bringing cops and kids together. Teams of Youth Coordination Officers from NYPD precincts will be at each of the 100 gymnasiums across the city every Saturday night, helping coach and participate with members of community-based organizations to interact with young people and help make lasting and positive impacts.

“This program, centered on enhancing youth development, is an exciting step forward for the NYPD and our partners in continuing to build trust and create opportunities for kids in neighborhoods throughout New York City,” Shea said. “This has always been important, but it has never been more important than it is at this moment.”

The program began on Saturday, July 10 and will continue all year long.

The new Saturday Night Lights locations in Queens include:

  • YMCA of Greater New York Rockaway YMCA (207 Beach 73rd Street), Precinct 100
  • The Child Center of NY Ocean Bay Cornerstone (57-10 Beach Channel Drive), Precinct 101
  • The Child Center of NY Redfern (1544 Hassock St), Precinct 101
  • The Child Center of NY Oceanside Cornerstone (339 Beach 54th Street), Precinct 101
  • Greater Ridgewood Youth Council Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens (110-04 Atlantic Ave), Precinct 102
  • Jamaica YMCA Jamaica YMCA (89-25 Parsons Blvd), Precinct 103
  • SQPA IS 8 (108-35 167 Street), Precinct 103
  • SQPA South Jamaica II 109-04 160th Street), Precinct 103
  • YMCA of Greater New York Ridgewood YMCA (69-02 64th Street), Precinct 104
  • YMCA of Greater New York Cross Island YMCA (238-10 Hillside Avenue), Precinct 105
  • CITC Thomas Edison High School (165-65 84th Ave); Original Location (Re-opening Date TBD)
  • August Martin High School (156-10 Baisley Blvd), Precincts 107 and 113
  • YMCA of Greater New York Long Island City YMCA (32-23 Queens Boulevard), Precinct 108
  • The Child Center of NY Latimer Gardens Cornerstone (34-30 137th Street), Precinct 109
  • The Child Center of NY M.S. 72 (133-25 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.), Precinct 113
  • HANAC Inc Astoria (4-05 Astoria Blvd), Precinct 114
  • Greater Ridgewood Youth IS 204 (36-41 28th Street), Precinct 114
  • Police Athletic League (PAL) Edward Byrne Center (116-25 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.), Precinct 103

Three more locations will be announced soon.Saturday Night Lights offers recreational programming for young people ages 11 to 18 on Saturday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.