Executive Director Peter Straus created TEAM PRIME TIME (TPT) in 2001 in response to the lack of after school opportunities for at-risk youth from low-income areas of Los Angeles. Specifically, Straus saw this as an opportunity to address two of our community’s most glaring problems – the drop out crisis and juvenile crime – by focusing on our most at-risk youth, middle school students, during the most dangerous hours of the day, those immediately after school. This focused approach is the reason why we say that TPT is “Helping Our Kids When It Matters Most.”
TPT first opened its doors on February 6, 2001 to 21 students at Webster Middle School (Webster MS) a Title 1 school where over 75 percent of students qualified for some form of government aid. The program continues to enjoy great success as demonstrated by the program’s sustained growth, enhanced program content, strategic partnerships, and ultimately, the ongoing success of the students in the program.
In the Fall of 2004 Team Prime Time extended its programming to an additional at-risk population – children with developmental disabilities – by creating its full-inclusion sports program, the Prime Time Games ® (the GAMES). As the centerpiece of TPT’s leadership component, the GAMES gives TPT students the opportunity to peer–mentor and coach, creating a win–win situation for everyone involved.
The 2006-07 academic year provided even more excitement as TPT, in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), opened two new sites, Palms Middle School and Westside Global Awareness Magnet. In so doing, TPT doubled its outreach, providing comprehensive after-school programming for over 600 at–risk youth.
TPT opened its 4th location, Emerson Middle School, in the Fall of 2008. By the end of the 2008-09 academic year, TPT was serving over 600 students per day, and over 1,500 students per year, a 75-fold increase in just 8 years.
2012 proved to be another historic year for TPT. The much-anticipated Prime Time Games High School Division (“Varsity Games”) got off to a great start with Venice High School and University High School playing soccer and basketball against one another in the only full inclusion league of its kind in the country. The League has since tripled in size with the addition of Hamilton, Fairfax, Dorsey and LA High Schools.
The 2012-13 school year also saw TPT open its 5th after school program location, Marina Middle School. TPT followed that up in 2013-14 with the addition of its sixth location, City Charter Middle School. The addition of these schools brings allows TPT to serve over 1,700 students per year.
Check back soon…TPT’s story continues to evolve.