Teen Zone gets stimulus money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teen Zone gets stimulus money

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A program to give Albany teenagers something positive to do to keep them off the streets is getting federal stimulus money.

The Albany Recreation and Parks Department will get $75,000 from the stimulus package to finance their Totally Teen Zone.

Last year, the Teen Zone provided activities for more than a thousand students during 16 events.  Critics call it pork spending, but Recreation and Parks Director Suzanne Davis says it's a tool to fight gang problems in Albany.

"There's been research and it's been shown that in periods after school and at night when kids don't have anything to do is when crime rates increase and kids join gangs and do stuff that's really not productive and this program is available for them," said Albany Parks and Recreation Director Suzanne Davis.

The additional money will allow the program to expand into an after school program in addition to Friday night events.  The Albany YMCA also received $75,000 as part of the stimulus.

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