Paula Hatch has a love of working with youths in her Bayview neighborhood.
That’s one of many reasons why she was at the Joseph Lee Recreation Center on Thursday afternoon giving pointers on dribbling and jump shots to nearly a dozen kids from the Bayview and Hunters Point communities.
The afternoon camp is part of Stone Oaks Athletics Shaping Preparing Youth efforts to offer free team, instruction and developmental camps to inner-city youths.
“I didn’t know all their names a few days ago,” Hatch, 24, said. “But I do now. I love working with kids.”
SOA began offering day camps to youths on Monday and will continue every day at 9 a.m. through July 31.
The camp comes as a result of the concerns police officers and government officials had when The City’s school district decided to cancel summer classes.
“It’s really important for these kids — with their parents working — this camp is an opportunity to get exercise and play socially,” said San Francisco police Officer Leon Jackson.
Jackson said even visiting the corner store on Third Street the kids have a lot of obstacles to get through.
“It’s tough,” he said. “There’s a lot for them to get involved in.”
In March, San Francisco Unified School District’s Board of Education voted to cancel summer school due to the impending budget deficit, which is looming around $113 million over the next two school years.
The camp is designed to allow for instruction in the morning in math, English and computers, according to director Tony Warren.
Warren said he started the camps in Baltimore first, following a similar camp he organized for affluent communities and wanted to offer the same opportunities to all youth.
Ten-year-old Allyana Abeyta said without the camp, she would be sent to Detroit to be with her grandmother for the summer.
“It gives me something to do,” she said. “I’m making friends.”
While D’aarez Loggins said he would be at home playing games or at a skate park.
“This is better,” the 10-year-old said.
What: Summerlong basketball camp with educational classes
Why: in response to SFUSD’s canceling of summer school
Who: Fourth- through eighth- graders
Put on by: Stone Oaks Athletics Shaping Preparing Youth, paid for by the Housing Authority
When: June 7-July 31
Where: Joseph Lee Recreation Center
How much: Free
Source: Stone Oaks Athletics Shaping Preparing Youth