Over the weekend at Marcy, our off-court discussion borrowed the central theme from the day’s earlier ribbon cutting ceremony: community. The ceremony unveiled our newly restored, beautifully painted blue tennis court—but our celebration didn’t stop there. Together with students, parents and volunteers from all four KCTL sites, along with local leadership figures, we also celebrated something more meaningful than a tennis court--our community. Speakers at the ceremony praised KCTL’s impact on the community, and expressed confidence that the new court will intensify this positive influence.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and 36th District Council Member Robert Cornegy applauded our program’s creation of a new community. KCTL is a fusion of children, parents and adult volunteers in safe and fun learning environments, they said.
KCTL president and founder, Michael McCasland emphasized that the new facility welcomes an entire community. Although it’s located at the Marcy Playground, closest to the Marcy Houses, the renovated space is open to all KCTL students, including those who reside in Tompkins, Sumner and Lafayette Gardens.
Brandon, a 15-year-old KCTL student who has been with the program since it began in 2010, enthusiastically told the audience that KCTL has created a new community for him, a “second family.”
After the ceremony, we talked about community in our off-court discussion to round everything out. Appropriately, some of our neighbors in the community sat alongside us, since we’d invited students and volunteers from Tompkins to join our site for the day.
In our conversation, we explained that communities are best defined by where you live. We pointed out how earlier that day, we had united four communities to join as one. With this understanding, the kids told us about the importance of taking care of your community and its resources. If someone’s damaging community property—say, with graffiti or breaking glass—you should ask them to stop or alert someone who can help.
The students learned that any community is strongest when its members interact in cooperation in pursuit of common good—just like the community we’d come together to celebrate earlier in the day.