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A teen addresses his “jurors” while defending a case at Teen Court Sarasota Inc. The organization will now have office space in North Port for local teens to take advantage of.

NORTH PORT — The North Port version of Teen Court received a second boost of funding through the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Teen Court of Sarasota made the announcement Thursday, cementing the relationship between the two organizations for another year. The Teen Court group is receiving a grant for $15,000 for services and programs in North Port.

The grant “was awarded to help leverage the preventative and behavioral services and programs that help our young people through a difficult time,” Teen Court of Sarasota noted in a news release.

“This generous donation will support the youth and their families with wrap around services through restorative strategies,” Teen Court Executive Director Heather Todd said. “Thank you to GCCF for believing in the young people in this community and believing that every child deserves a second chance.”

Teen Court began in North Port in 2018 and is used as an “alternative to Juvenile Court,” the group said. It works by having teenagers run a program of peer court surpervised by a volunteer adult judge, it said.

“Student volunteers who participate in our Teen Court program receive a law-related education along with community service hours for their time,” it said in its release. “In complement to the Teen Court program, the organization also offers counseling services, drug prevention, anti-bullying, and anger management classes to those youth who demonstrate extra need.”

More information on it is available at: www.sarasotateencourt.org.

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