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‘Summer in the City’ offers teens a new activity each day to keep them out of trouble during summer months

I Choose Peace
Posted at 4:32 PM, Jun 16, 2023
and last updated 2024-01-08 13:10:56-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A new program is encouraging Indianapolis teens to focus on something else to keep them safe and away from violent gun-related behavior.

“If more kids can get out here in these programs, they can learn how to think without running to a gun,” Kevin Beverly, the father of a participant, said.

The goal of Summer in the City is to teach young adults conflict resolution skills and give them ways to express their emotions.

Teens can experience a little bit of everything at locations across the city each week.

On Mondays, kids take place in circuit training on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

At Watkins Park on Tuesdays, it’s all about connection. Teens can learn what it takes to be a barber, but it’s about more than just haircuts.

“We know that sometimes the closest person to you is your barber,” David Lee III, with Indy Peace Fellowship, said. “We realized how much more effective it would be by putting individuals and young people in the room with them to have conversations."

On Wednesdays, there’s lessons on healthy, affordable soul cooking on the east side.

Along with kitchen skills, kids learn how to follow a recipe and take food home to their families.

“Everyone’s connected to the food and ingredients, but they’re also working together,” Leonardo Colon, with the Office of Public Health and Safety, said.

On Thursdays at Brookside Park, teens learn about the roots of hip-hop and other forms of art from an IUPUI professor.

“We don’t have enough opportunities for young people to interface with their culture in this way,” Dr. Lasana Kazembe, Professor of Africana Studies at IUPUI, said.

Finishing out the week, on Fridays, kids get the chance to participate in an e-sports experience at Butler University’s e-sports park.

Many of the kids participating say Summer in the City is a way to do something different and make new friends.

“There’s a lot of things to do out there that’s tempting, so I just had to find something positive to do,” 18-year-old Daquan Drye said.

This was the second week of Summer in the City. The programs will continue each week until July 21.

Kids who participate in six of the seven weekly sessions will get special gifts tied to what they’ve learned.

Summer in the City events hosted by the Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety are free. Transportation can be provided.

For more information on Summer in the City or to sign up, click here.