GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The number of teenagers who participated in Greensboro’s Summer Night Lights program was way up this year, according to city staff.
Almost 5,000 teenagers participated in events this summer, which is about 2,000 more than last year.
“I think it shows, with over 700 kids attending almost every Sportsplex event, that they are seeking somewhere positive to go,” said Jenny Caviness, Greensboro Youth Services manager.
Summer Night Lights held more than 120 free events for teens between 13-18 years old this summer. Activities included everything from film writing classes to pool parties. Most activities were scheduled during high crime times for teens, which is between 7-11 p.m.
“I think we all know there were not as many incidents this summer, and that it was a really positive summer all around,” said Caviness.
Greensboro police statistics show crimes involving teens between 13-18 years old did, in fact, drop slightly this summer.
In 2013, 729 teenagers committed crimes in Greensboro between May and August, but that number went down to 688 in 2014. The number of incidents involving teenagers also decreased. There were 561 crimes involving teens during the summer of 2013, compared to 530 in 2014.
“Really listening to kids and giving them exactly what they ask for can really attribute to them coming out and wanting to be part of it,” said Caviness. “These kids want to do something good with their time. If we offer it, they really will come.”
Caviness says the city will also offer opportunities for teens to get involved throughout the fall, winter, and spring this year.