WTCSB sets youth event

Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Western Tidewater Community Services Board will provide transportation from King’s Fork Middle School on Saturday so Suffolk teens can attend a life-skills event it’s hosting in Franklin.

The basketball-themed event, dubbed Three-Point Shoot Out and Life Skills, is the brainchild of Teko Wynder, a Suffolk-based prevention specialist with the board and former Philadelphia 76ers NBA draftee.

Catering to young people aged 9 to 17 across Western Tidewater, it will take place at J.P. King Middle School, 501 Charles St., between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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As a mentor, Wynder draws from his own struggle with drugs, which he says he was finally able to overcome after finding God and with the support of his wife. He said it’s the fourth such event he has organized during his tenure with the board. He previously organized similar events in Newport News.

“When I got myself clean and off drugs, that was my way of giving back,” he said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and the kids.”

Saturday’s event will involve basketball and workshops, which Wynder said will rotate every 30 minutes.

NBA legend Allen Iverson is locked in, Wynder said, and Virginia Wesleyan player Kaelin Poe’s name is also on the program.

Another Suffolk connection will be Nansemond River High School coach Ed Young.

“I try to mix it up a little bit and add a bit of humor,” Young said of his talks. “Instead of preparing a speech, I try to give the kids what they want to hear. I take one or two things on their mind and try to expound upon it.”

Also offering positive messages, according to Wynder, will be the board’s Latril Mariano, on gang awareness; Tonya Jones, on making positive choices; and Cynthia Taylor, on bullying.

Wynder also recognized Kelly Hatton, for her work on the transportation arrangements; Faye Askew, for providing blankets to be given away at the end of the event; Princess Wilkins, for work on fliers and T-shirts; and Margaret Holland, for her work on the program and letters.

Chick-fil-A on Suffolk’s North Main Street will provide lunches, Wynder said, adding that every child will leave with something from the many giveaways.

“We want to put smiles on kids’ faces,” Wynder said.

“I work with at-risk kids in jail or on their way to jail, and they are angry. They deserve joy.”

Wynder expects the event to attract 200 young people. The bus will leave King’s Fork Middle School about 9 a.m., he said, returning about 3 p.m. Parents or guardians will need to sign a consent form before the bus departs.