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Summer Night Lights offering activities for teens this summer

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The City of Greensboro’s Summer Night Lights program will hold 122 events this summer aimed at keeping teens off the streets and out of trouble.

Last summer, eleven people ranging from 16 to 20 years old were arrested after a brawl in downtown Greensboro. Officers had to use pepper spray and a stun gun to get the crowd under control. Greensboro parents remember it all too well.

“I thought it was very, very stupid. Parents should have had them in the house,” said Rodney Rich.

The Summer Night Lights program, or SNL, will offer teens a place to hang out, so they don’t have to find their own fun.

“As a parent and someone who worked with teenagers for over 10 years, I understand the desire for freedom and the desire to really be able to express yourself. But to do in a structured environment that’s safe – that’s what the city wants to do, provide those safe opportunities,” said Jenny Caviness, Youth and Volunteer Services Division Manager for the city.

After getting feedback from teenagers in the community, Caviness says they have organized 122 different events this summer including everything from playing basketball to poetry nights. There are also events for younger kids.

“A lot of kids have to watch a younger sibling in the summer, and we want to make sure they can still come,” said Caviness.

Almost all the events are free. Many are also scheduled between 6-11 p.m., when crimes involving teenagers tend to occur.

However, some Greensboro residents have their doubts.

“Right now, the youth growing up today aren’t even cooperating with the adults that are raising them. What makes you think they’re going to cooperate with anything else,” said Rawmeo Mcauley.

Other parents are on board with the city’s plan.

“It gives them something to do besides hanging out in the street at night,” said Rich.

The Summer Night Lights program will kick off June 13 from 7-11 p.m. at the Sportsplex for Basketball Night. There will be basketball, soccer, a DJ, dancing and food.

For more information about Summer Night Lights, visit greensboro-nc.gov/index.aspx?page=4004.

For more information about Summer Night Lights, visit greensboro-nc.gov/index.aspx?page=4004.


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