MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Are you looking for something to do this summer?
The city of Memphis has kicked off a portion of their Play Your Park program. It offers children ages 5 to 15 a safe and free place to spend their day.
Monday was a perfect day to toss around a ball, play on a playground or just sit in the shade and hang out.
"They have something they can go out here and do, instead of sitting and playing video games all day and on the tablets," explained parent Jeru Garcia.
Garcia has two kids, ages 12 and 14. They take advantage of the Play Your Park program. His children spend their summer days at Wilson Park.
"You can leave and know that you are comfortable with leaving you’re child with someone who is out here for the community," he said.
In the wake of violent crime often committed by young people, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has talked about the need for more positive, productive activities to try and deter teens from a negative lifestyle.
Play Your Park kicked off at 10 city parks Monday. The supervised program runs Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s free and lunch is provided, along with a variety of games.
Garcia’s children attended in 2018 as well.
"Yes they have plenty of fun. I actually got into a couple of games with a couple of the kids, and I get to know other parents, you know people in the neighborhood, so it’s a good thing.”
Garcia believes as we get further into summer, more families will take advantage of the program.
Besides Wilson Park, we also visited Raines Road Park in Hickory Hill. There didn't appear to be a ton of children at the park but things appeared to be running smoothly.
Tammeka Sheppard hopes the program makes a difference in the long run.
"When you have children who are actively participating in something with adults showing that they can even the slightest, that makes a huge difference," Sheppard said.
10 more parks will open for the program next week, which will run until August 2.
All a parent has to do is sign their child in.
The following Play Your Park locations will operate June 10-August 2:
- Audubon-751 Cherry St.
- Binghampton- 2606 Everett Ave.
- Charjean-2601 Ketchum Rd.
- Fletcher Creek-8743 Dexter Rd.
- Gooch-1974 Hunter Ave.
- Pine Hill-1005 Alice Ave.
- Raines Road-4199 Hickory Hill Rd.
- Raleigh Bartlett Meadows-5195 Twin Wood Ave.
- Westwood-810 Western Park Dr.
- Wilson-2969 Clarke Rd.
- The following Play Your Park locations will operate June 17-August 2:
- Brentwood-700 Josephine St.
- Cherokee-2999 Filmore Ave.
- Denver-3475 Denver St.
- Douglass-1616 Ash St.
- Gaisman-4221 Macon Rd.
- Oakhaven-3875 Bishops Bridge Rd.
- O'Brien- Prescott Rd. @ Steve Rd.
- Polly Williams-3888 Auburn Rd.
- Southside-26 South Parkway East
- Windridge-3500 Ridgeway Rd.