Far Rockaway Students Say No To Violence, Yes To Tennis
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown joined the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the New York Junior Tennis League in hosting more than 650 Far Rockaway public school students at the eighth annual "Say Yes to Tennis - No to Violence" Day at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.
The day-long event featured on-court activities for the students with National Tennis Center pros, as well as a tennis demonstration by the District Attorney and former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins. The children also received T-shirts to commemorate the event along with introductory tennis instruction and lunch.
The students are enrolled in eight public schools in Far Rockaway where they participate in the District Attorney's STAR Track (Straight Talk About Risks) anti-violence program. The schools include: Far Rockaway High School, Middle Schools 53 and 198, and Public Schools 43, 104, 106, 197 and 215, which enroll more than 7,000 students in grades four to twelve.
STAR Track sends 32 Assistant District Attorneys into these schools to teach children about the risks of drugs and guns in partnership with educators and parents. The program uses a curriculum designed to drive down the crime rate and build up self-esteem, confidence and the quality of life.
"Today's tennis event is meant to encourage our young people to choose sports as a positive alternative to violence," said District Attorney Brown. "I want to congratulate the students who have participated in our STAR Track program this year. Your choices and your decisions will shape our future."
"This day at the USTA National Tennis Center gives us the opportunity to help deliver some important messages and lessons to these children through the vehicle of the sport of tennis," said Lee Hamilton, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the USTA. "By partnering with Judge Brown's STAR Track program we are helping to promote the message of anti-violence to the youth of New York and continue the USTA's efforts to give back to the community."
The event was made possible by the following groups: USTA National Tennis Center, the New York Junior Tennis League, Harcourt School Publications, Modell's, Queens Borough Public Library, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Department of Education and the New York Mets.