OAKLAND (KCBS) – A partnership between the city of Oakland and the Oakland Unified School District is offering kids safe alternatives on weekend nights.
Safe Fridays/Safe Saturdays-Oakland was implemented in response to data from the school district, which revealed that the majority of school-aged homicides and crime-related shootings occurred on Friday and Saturday nights.
15-year-old Marvin Lee knows how difficult the streets of Oakland can be.
“The parents leave and (the kids) have parties. There are shootings and the gangs present a lot of danger,” he said.
KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:
Because of those dangers, the plan was hatched by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Tony Smith, who heads the Oakland Unified School District, to give young people a place to congregate until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
“There will be board games for kids and indoor soccer for girls,” said Quan. “There’s also going to be our version of ‘American Idol.’”
It kicked off this weekend and several teens turned up at the Rainbow Center on International Boulevard to shoot some hoops.
“Out of mind is the devil’s workshop. If a kid doesn’t have anything to do, he’ll find something to do,” said Rainbow Center Director Horace Houston. “And the chances are great it won’t be something good.”
McClymonds High School was the other venue taking part. The plan is to add the 81st Avenue Library to the mix later this spring, with more non-profit groups coming forward to possibly get involved as well.
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