This Summer, starting June 10th, select recreational centers around the City of Tampa will hold extended hours. These extended hours will provide teens with free access to recreation centers, different programs to participate in, and a variety of educational events.
According to officials, at the beginning of 2015, we saw 21 people die in shootings, four of them being teenagers.
"We had to do something, because I didn't want to lose these kids to the streets," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "These are places where they can come and just be kids...This saves lives, this builds lives, this shapes lives."
"The impact that this program has on the community was shown when a teen participant was asked last year what he'd like for his dinner treat that night and his reply was 'it doesn't matter, it's the only meal I will have today,'" said Parks & Recreation Director Greg Bayor.
The locations participating in Stay & Play this summer that will be open until 12 a.m. are:
- Copeland Community Center (Pool remains open until 8 p.m. on select days)
- Cyrus Greene Community Center (Pool remains open until 8 p.m. on select days)
- Desoto Community Center
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (Pool remains open until 8 p.m. on select days)
- Grant Park Activity Center
- Gwendolyn Miller Community Center
- Jackson Heights Community Center
- Springhill Community Center
- Williams Park-Activity Center (Pool remains open until 10 p.m.)
- Spicola pool will remain open until 10 p.m.
Programs provided range from fitness classes, swimming classes, and athletic training and leagues to Girls Fun Friday, music production classes, computer classes, anger management classes, and many more.
Community partners that will assist with the programming offered this summer include: Most Valuable Proteges, Safe and Sound of Hillsborough County, Computer Mentors, Derrick Brooks Charities, Springfield College Mentors, Alpha Phi Alpha Men of Tomorrow, and The Skills Center.
Other events that will be held during Stay & Play are:
- Skating Field Trip
- Teen Court
- Anti-Bullying Lectures
- Stranger/Danger Program by TPD
- Speakers including ex and current athletes, TDP, local businesses, Fire Department, and Parks and Recreational Staff
- Future Leaders Training which includes resume preparation, interviewing skills, and educational opportunities
Stay & Play aims to provide teens a place to be active, safe, and healthy. Food will be provided for free as well as transportation home when available from the Parks and Recreational Department.
If interested in volunteering please contact the Parks and Recreational Department or visit one of the participating Stay & Play sites for further information.