Each 1 Reach 1 to Host 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament
By Danny Aiello Jr
HERNANDO – For Each 1 Reach 1 Mentoring Program is a local non-profit group out of Hernando County that comes with the highest of reviews. From county officials to community members, the organization has been praised throughout the county.
“Our goal is to turn the light switch on in people’s lives.” Lynette Mackey said. “We want to help people reach their full potential.
This year, they will be doing a 3-on-3 basketball tournament annual fundraiser at West Hernando Middle School. The tournament will be held Saturday June 4th at 10:00 a.m.
“We started with mentoring and we realized the kids need academic help. We started tutoring and have been for the last two years, and in the school district we have realized these kids are asked to do things they are not equipped to do.” Mackey said. “We started a summer academic program to help them catch up and close the gap (for the upcoming school year).”
Students will receive 29 sessions of Math and Reading in their summer session. The students will be tested and have an individual learning program based on their area of weakness to help them catch up to the learning curve.
Parents pay based on a sliding scale based on income, and the fundraisers help the organization offset costs for the summer program and field trips to help these students.
“We also offer a summer boot camp to help with life skills.” Mackey, a veteran of the Military said. “It is a military style, yes-sir and yes ma’am program that teaches them skills and team building exercises.”
Mackey said the goal is to build the county, and the first step to building up the county is to bring up those weighing on the county.
“If we don’t build them up, our tax dollars will go up. If we invest in them, they will become productive. Mackey said. “I believe we create welfare, by not education or not allowing or requiring people to get educated. We all know if you don’t deposit, you cant withdraw. If you can’t withdraw, it makes thieves and drug addicts.”
Mackey continued with her powerful message by saying the problem is that people feel they can’t provide and they turn to those crimes and vices and it costs us more money.
“We need to not think about building more prisons, we need to take more preventative measures.” Mackey said. “We are more personalized than the schools. We get to know everyone that walks in, we meet their families and we have a parents support group to help them get involved and be an advocate to be responsible for their child.”
Parents entering students on the sliding scale, have mandatory support group sessions.
“We have parents walking on eggshells with their children. The child threatens to call the cops and the parents can’t discipline their child.” Mackey said. “If you make it okay for a child to disrespect their parents, you messed up. There is no way at that point the parent can help the child.”
Throughout bootcamp, the organization takes the children and teaches them that if one student fails the team fails and they preach team building that transitions into the home.
Mackey said the problem is the children tend to get negative attention at home and the positives tend to get overlooked. One of the corrective procedures is to help the parents understand to be responsible for the child and not be concerned so much about being their friends.
“If you love them, why would you have them walk into a brick wall.” Mackey said. “If you ask the child where they see themselves in a year and they have nothing good to say, why wouldn’t you fix it.”
For Each 1 Reach 1 has garnered national mentoring awards, and has been spoken highly of by Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis.
“Although I have not been involved in this organization as much as some others in the community, I spoke on 1-30-16 at the National Mentoring Month Dinner. It is my understanding that this organization has served approximately 539 youth with their various programs.” Nienhuis said. “I believe they offer programs such as mentoring, tutoring, Cadet Boot Camp, internship, a homework club, a book club, a parent support boot camp, community service opportunities for youth in search of scholarships, and some others. Any organization that works toward making our young people law abiding and productive members of our community has my support.”
Testimonials at that dinner were spoken, and one child stood up and said “Since I’ve been going to For Each 1 Reach 1, I now realize I am by best investment.”
As for the basketball tournament, the winners will receive medals, and there will be a special 3-point contest for a $2.00 fee, where the winner will take home a trophy.
Sponsorships are available still for the tournament.