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The success of a 2012 Cleveland Foundation grant to the City of Cleveland that allowed four of the city’s recreation centers to have evening hours last summer has led the foundation to extend that grant through this summer.

Remaining funds from the $200,000 grant awarded to the city in May 2012 will be used for this summer’s Cleveland Nights program. The extended hours are in effect and will run through Saturday, August 17.

As it did last year, the grant will enable four rec centers to keep their doors open until 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and will fund a midnight basketball program and life skills workshops. The rec centers that will be part of Cleveland Nights are: Cudell (1910 West Blvd.), Glenville (680 E. 113 St.), Lonnie Burten (2511 E. 46 St.), and Zelma George (3155 MLK Jr. Blvd.).

Normally, the centers close at 8 p.m. during the week and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. “Through the Cleveland Foundation’s generosity, we will again be able to provide programming that will give the City’s youth organized activities and educational opportunities that will ensure their development and learning continue during the summer break,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson.

More than 13,000 young people and adults took advantage of last summer’s extended hours and special programming. In addition, Cleveland Police statistical reports comparing crime in the immediate vicinity of the four rec centers showed a decrease in crime from 2011 to 2012, ranging from 3 to 32 percent, in those four neighborhoods last year.

“The idea for this original grant originated with our board members who wanted to support programming to keep young people engaged in positive activities throughout the summer,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. “After seeing the number of participants in last year’s program and the encouraging drop in crime in those neighborhoods, the foundation is happy to allow the city to use remaining funding to continue this program throughout this summer.”

The life skills workshops will cover topics such as money management, job interviewing skills, conflict management, and HIV/AIDS education.


Article and Picture Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

Four Cleveland Recreation Centers to Stay Open in the Evening  was originally published on