Page Youth Center basketball attracts some 800 boys and girls. (Page Youth Center)

Every day about 3:30 p.m., when school is out, hundreds of kids who are eager to move and play, run into the Page Youth Center (PYC) in Goleta, drop their backpacks, high-five their friends and coaches, and play.

Parents drive away knowing their children are safely spending their after-school hours receiving great coaching and mentoring with an organization whose mission is “building character through youth sports.”

For some 25 years, PYC has served the greater Santa Barbara County community providing organized sports programming and recreational activities as a way to develop self-confidence, physical fitness, personal responsibility and other essential life skills to thousands of boys and girls, including those who are financially, socially or developmentally at risk.

PYC’s Winter Basketball League opens Dec. 2 with some 800 boys and girls in first through eighth grades.

The Basketball League program follows the guidelines of the Positive Coaching Alliance (a partner of the Los Angeles Clippers) and fills PYC stands with cheering fans. The program runs through March. 

Deadline for enrollment in the PYC Winter League is Oct. 14. To register, visit www.pageyouthcenter.org.

Thanks to the Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, youngsters entering the PYC to play will do so through new commercial grade-double glass doors and shoot basketballs into new hoops with new mechanicals.

Last year, the Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation provided for a gym floor at PYC.

Another upgrade comes from the Page Foundation, which has funded new gray pads that line the interior gym walls providing safety and giving local companies, vendors and families a place to display their support with names and logos.

“There’s so much to be proud of at the Page Youth Center,” said Bob Yost, PYC executive director.

“We just keep making more and more improvements to our facility and our programming, and it could not happen without our wonderful local foundations and community,” he said.

“We still have more to do and donations are always needed and welcome,” he said.

For more information on the Page Youth Center, visit www.pageyouthcenter.org or contact Wana Dowell, development director, at Wana@pageyouthcenter.org.

— Wana Dowell for Page Youth Center.