DALLAS A South Dallas afterschool program is a slam dunk when it comes to giving kids a shot at keeping them off the streets.

Players at Jeffries Street Learning Center are learning more than just basketball they're also learning about the game of life.

Youngsters like 13-year-old Sheldon Williams often live in the shadows of crime and drugs. Just to get to the after-school facility, they have to walk past drug dealers and gang members.

I make right choices, the eighth-grader said. I always cross the street, I look both ways; I don't pay attention to drugs, shooting dice and all that. I just do the right thing.

Before they hit the court, Sheldon and his teammates are required to hit the books.

During the past 15 years, thousands of children have been helped at Jeffries Street Learning Center. Today, there are almost 100 children enrolled in the various programs being offered.

Raquel Wesley, who is a teacher in the Dallas school district, has a five-year-old daughter at Jeffries Street.

As a product of the South Dallas community, there wasn't a program available to me when I was growing up where I would have somewhere where I felt was a safe haven after school, Wesley said. I feel that this is an excellent accent to the community.

This afterschool program is scoring big points on... and off the court.


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