CPSD & YMCA Partner on Late Nite

CPSD & YMCA Partner on Late Nite for Students
Posted on 02/06/2024
Four female students at the YMCA eat pizza and smile at the camera. CPSD has partnered with the Lakewood Family YMCA to provide a place for middle and high school students to gather for fun and camaraderie on Friday nights. The program, called Late Nite, is a free teen wellness and violence prevention program that offers all CPSD students in grades 6-12 a safe space to spend time with friends, meet new people and stay active.

On Friday nights, the entire YMCA facility is open to Late Nite participating teens. They can play sports like basketball and volleyball, access fitness equipment and workout rooms, and participate in clubs, programs and more. Some participating teens are even in the process of starting a podcast and learning the ins and outs of audio production.

Students also have access to the YMCA’s teen room, equipped with video games and other fun activities, Monday through Thursday evenings.

“We are so proud to bring this program to life in collaboration with the school district,” said Lakewood Family YMCA Executive Director Toby Roberts. “Superintendent Banner’s vision and support, along with the YMCA facility, staff and programming have created a space where teens belong, thrive and grow every Friday night.”

Late Nite originally began as a response to rising gang activity in Tacoma in the mid-1990s. It was revived following the COVID-19 pandemic to help increase teen wellness and encourage students to spend time in a safe space.

The program opened at the Lakewood Family YMCA last summer. In collaboration with CPSD, the YMCA transformed an old racquetball court into a teen room with video game consoles, couches and more. YMCA staff help organize fun events for students, such as movie nights and laser tag.

“Providing a safe space for students to gather and interact is critical to ensuring they can achieve academically,” said CPSD Superintendent Ron Banner. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the YMCA in a way that helps build community and strengthen our commitment to student well-being.”

For more information and to register, visit the YMCA’s Late Nite webpage. First-time participants are required to bring a Late Nite waiver signed by a parent or guardian and present photo ID.