Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, 13th District, is partnering with the Los Angeles Police Department and other community organizations to create recreational opportunities for youths during the summer.
Garcetti joined officers from the LAPD’s Hollywood Division and members of the community at Lemon Grove Park yesterday evening to announce that the park’s recreation center will remain open until midnight from Wednesday through Sunday each week throughout the summer. The recreation center’s late closure is part of the “Summer Night Lights” program, a citywide expansion of a program Garcetti created in the 13th District in 2007 after a teenage girl was killed in Glassell Park. Under the program recreation centers at 24 parks citywide will stay open between 7:00pm and midnight and offer activities such as skating, soccer, swimming, basketball, boxing and music. In addition, “Youth Squad” members will help operate the recreation centers, providing at risk youth ages 17 to 20 a chance to earn money and receive job training. Community intervention workers will also be present to mediate disputes and connect youth with additional resources.
“This was a really tough year and we had to make some tough budget choices, but I wanted to make sure that key programs, especially for kids, were protected,” Garcetti said. “they have played a key role in enhancing public safety, and in giving young people a place to go.”
In addition to the Summer Night Lights Program, Garcetti identified funding for other youth programs in the Hollywood area, including keeping the skate park open at Le Conte Elementary School open from noon to 8:00pm, seven days-a-week; and providing yoga and art classes at Helen Bernstein High School beginning on July 13. The funding for the programs came from general city purposes (GCP) funds that are distributed to each council office each year for discretionary usage. Garcetti’s office receive approximately $81,000 in GCP funds this year, of which approximately $33,000 were used for community and youth programs. Garcetti added that he was able to raise funds from private sources as well to expand the programs even further.
Lemmon Grove Park is located at 4959 Lemon Grove Ave. Helen Bernstein High School is located at 1309 N. Wilton Pl. For information, call (323)957-4500.
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