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Teen Zone kick off

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May 9, 2008

Albany--The City of Albany started a new program to keep kids on the right track.

Police say teenagers with nothing to do are more likely to hang out on the streets, get in trouble, even join gangs.

The Albany Recreation and Parks Department is now sponsoring Totally Teen Zone, to give kids a safe place to go for fun.

Teens in Albany can no longer complain there's nothing to do.

On Friday night Totally Teen Zone held it's first event. Providing teenagers ages 13 to 17 a safe place with fun activities.

"It's an alternative for kids who claim they have nothing to do, so we have everything from video games to dancing to community, and peer interaction to food and beverage so it's a club for kids," said Suzanne Davis, director of Albany Recreation and Parks Department.

The club atmosphere is what drew Cederick Holsey and many other teens out to the event.

"They're bored that that's how they get into more conflict, but I got into it with the Teen Zone and it inspired me," said Cederick Holsey, Teen Advisory Committee.

It inspired him to get out, do something fun, and be active. Something other young people in the area have been asking for.

"It sort of came out of just meeting with kids and saying you know it's summer time, and we want something to do, and if we can provide an opportunity that could also reduce crime then that's a win-win for all of us," said Davis.

The Albany Police Department and other area organizations pitched in to make the Totally Teen Zone Events possible.

"We saw a lot of kids out in the afternoon, at basketball goals in the streets late in the afternoon, so we decided we can open these facilities up, where we got basketball, we got card games, we got dancing," said Lt. James Williams, Albany Police Department.

A lot of games and fun activities for them to enjoy and stay out of trouble.

The event was limited to the first 200 teenagers, and that will be the limit for future Teen Zone nights as well.

Totally Teen Zone will run for sixteen nights, two nights in May at Thornton Center, and then Friday and Saturday nights in June and July at the Thornton and Henderson Centers.

All this in the hopes of providing kids something to do and keeping them out of trouble.

Organizers need more sponsors for the other 15 Teen Zone nights this summer.

You can link to the Teen Zone's web page by clicking the link below.

http://www.albany.ga.us/arpd/rec_events.htm#Totally_Teen_Zone

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