WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The kids spoke out and the Wilmington Police Department listened. A new program for teens will soon be coming to the Martin Luther King Center.
The department decided to start a new HOOPS program after hearing from teens there wasn't enough to do in the Port City that was free for teens.
The new year-round program will be more than just basketball. The plan is to also have video game nights and other activities like Zumba.
The police department said it will cost no more than $1,500 to start up and they will foot the bill. No direct funding will come from the city's parks and rec department, but the city is providing the facility and staff free of charge.
According to WPD spokesperson Linda Rawley, the program is well worth the cost. She believes giving teens more options will help bring down the recent increase in gang activity.
"I think that when kids are given choices and they aren't left with just what they have around them, but they also have positive choices - I believe that they will make good decisions," said Rawley.
HOOPS kicks off April 19 and will run every other Saturday until the midnight basketball program starts up. Then, HOOPS will pick up again in the fall and run throughout the year. It will be open for 13 to 17 year olds and also include skills clinics, intervention programs, food and other giveaways.
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