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City of Tampa continues Stay and Play program for Spring Break 2019

Rec centers have extended hours March 15 to 24
Posted: 3:50 AM, Mar 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-18 06:07:27-04
child skateboarding City of Tampa Parks & Rec

TAMPA, Fla. —The City of Tampa is continuing the Stay and Play program for the fourth consecutive year.

Select recreation centers around the city will have extended hours from March 15 to 24.

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Teens who have a free recreation card can participate in programs and utilize all the recreation centers have to offer. Since 2016, more than 138,000 teens have used the program.

"Our staff loves it, the community loves it because it keeps the kids off the street. It's a service we actually like to provide it's long hours, long days for us," says Jamal Jefferson with Tampa's Parks and Recreation Department. "If we can save one kid, it's worth it for us."

Programs include fitness classes, swimming classes, music production classes and computer classes. Stay and Play gives teens a safe place when school is out.

RELATED: Tampa Bay Area YMCA locations offer free swim lessons during Spring Break, here's how to sign up

"It's important because there's so many distractions, so many opportunities for our kids to fall short," says Jefferson. "Drugs, gangs, there's violence all over the city. So for us to provide them somewhere to be, somewhere safe where there's mentor and staff who care about them and love them."

Food is provided for free and transportation home, when available.

The locations participating in Stay & Play this spring break that will remain open until midnight are:

  • Copeland Community Center
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (Pool remains open until 8 p.m. on select days)
  • Jackson Heights Community Center
  • Springhill Community Center

Click here for more information about the Stay and Play program.