LEWISTON — Many programs have sprung up recently for the residents of River Valley Village, including basketball leagues.

Many residents expressed interest in the sport and Tina McBride, service coordinator and workforce development coordinator, figured it would be a great way to establish community respect and teamwork among the residents. Since the first meeting, interest in the basketball leagues has been growing consistently.

River Valley Village, formerly known as Tall Pines, was purchased and rehabilitated in 1995 by The Caleb Foundation to provide 296 units of affordable family housing, a new computer learning center and community room. Service coordination and workforce development are provided by The Caleb Group.

Participant ages range from 5 to 16. One player came up with the league name: The Caleb Foundation Survivors. There are currently 35 players for a total of five teams. Several teenagers have approached McBride to volunteer their talent and skills and teach the younger kids.

The goal of offering the leagues is to provide a recreational sport to get the youth involved in River Valley Village programming and build a sense of community.

One resident, Jon Fortin, has offered to coach all five teams. Practice is held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Game are played from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays, at 84 Strawberry Ave. Games are open to the public.

The Caleb Foundation has successfully pulled the program off with the assistance of the Lewiston Police Department. Officer Craig Johnson has contributed many hours helping with the Neighborhood Crime Watch, as well as the basketball league. Also, Lewiston Parks and Recreation has allowed the use of its basketball courts during practices and games.

The Caleb Foundation Survivors will hold small fundraisers to raise money for new equipment for the leagues. To help, contact Tina McBride at 240-9399.

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