Free WA summer programs to keep teens away from violence

Jun 26, 2023, 5:37 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2023, 11:17 am

free summer programs...

(Photo courtesy of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation)

(Photo courtesy of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation)

While gun violence continues to ramp up across the region, new summer programs in Seattle and Tacoma aim to keep teens safe.

Gross: Law enforcement fear crime spike among youths during summer

“Kids are safer when they are with caring adults in inclusive safe environments,” Tanisha Jumper, the Chief Communications Officer with Tacoma Public Schools, told KIRO Newsradio. “Our primary goal was to get kids graduated and that can’t happen if their lives are cut short.”

Jumper stated there will be free dinners, open gymnasiums, and entertainment for the participating teenage students across 27 different locations within Tacoma and Seattle — all to keep teens safe amid a continued trend of violence. The program is geared towards serving diverse groups of tweens and teens from low-income neighborhoods, according to the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.

Tanisha Jumper with Tacoma Public Schools said the programs are set to take place every weeknight over the summer, starting tonight, so they can make sure the students stay out of trouble and graduate.

“We are going to engage youths. We are going to create an opportunity for them to hang out with their friends in a safe supervised environment,” Jumper continued.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will debut its Summer of Safety at several community centers next week.

More from Sam Campbell: WA working residents to start paying into long-term care tax

Included in the Summer of Safety program are free sports, arts and crafts, and field trips for youth at several community centers. The programs will operate rain or shine and no sign-up is required as participants can drop in on any day and at any time during the program’s regular hours.

Follow Sam Campbell on Twitter or email him here

Editors Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Tanisha Jumper works at Tacoma Public Schools.

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Free WA summer programs to keep teens away from violence