This summer, select City of Tampa community and activity centers will stay open late and offer free programs to local teens in the Tampa Parks & Recreation's 4th annual Stay & Play program. The centers will give out free Rec Cards, which give teens access to the facilities and a variety of programs and educational events to take part in.
"Since the inception of our Stay & Play Program, over 100,000 teens have visited our various centers and pools," said Tampa Parks & Recreation in a release. "Stay & Play aims to provide teens a place to be active, safe, and healthy." The program began in 2015 as an initiative by Mayor Bob Buckhorn to help keep teenagers safe, learning, and out of trouble during the summer.
Programs offered by the Stay & Play program include fitness classes, swimming classes, athletic training/leagues, Girls Fun Friday, music production classes, computer classes, and anger management. Other events planned as part of Stay & Play are a skating field trip, teen court, anti-bullying lectures, and Future Leaders Training to help job seekers and college hopefuls with resume prep, interviewing skills, and educational opportunities. There will also guest speakers such as local athletes, members of Tampa's police and fire departments, and business owners throughout the summer.
Among the community partners helping put on Stay & Play programs and events are Friends of Tampa Recreation, Safe and Sound of Hillsborough County, Computer Mentors, Derrick Brooks Charities, East Tampa Initiative, Springfield College Mentors, Alpha Phi Alpha Men of Tomorrow, and The Skills Center.
Locations participating in Tampa's Stay & Play program this summer will stay open until midnight, 7 days a week. Food will be provided at the centers, as well as transportation home where available. The centers staying open late are:
- Copeland Park Center (Pool remains open until 8PM on select days)
- Cyrus Greene Community Center (Pool remains open until 8PM on select days)
- Desoto Park Center (Spicola pool will remain open until 10PM)
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Complex (Pool remains open until 8PM on select days)
- Williams Park Center (Pool remains open until 10PM)
- Grant Park Activity Center
- Gwendolyn Miller Center
- NFL YET Jackson Heights Center
- Springhill Center
Tampa Parks & Recreation invites all local teens to take part in the free summer Stay & Play program! If you'd like to volunteer for the program, contact the department or visit one of the participating Stay & Play sites for more details.
Photo courtesy City of Tampa.