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Summer activities seeking to keep kids busy in Columbus

Summer soccer
Summer soccer(Lisa Herring)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 1:02 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Activists throughout the Columbus community are encouraging parents to get their kids involved in activities this summer to keep them busy and out of trouble.

Preliminary data collected by Cure Violence Columbus, a crime prevention initiative, shows the 14 to 25-year-old age group is involved in a lot of the violent crimes.

Reggie Lewis with Cure Violence Columbus says the biggest part of keeping kids busy throughout the summer is finding something for them to do. He’s hoping COVID cases stay in control so more camps can continue opening up this summer with loosened restrictions compared to last year.

“A lot of people are trying to work on activities to put out there for the kids, but for the family members to understand is that you’ve got to give these kids the activities or idle mind, they’ll get out and start running around and we’ll have more violence,” said Lewis.

Tanya Weaver, the mother of Dontrell Williams, who was shot and killed while working at a Circle K in 2019, agrees that families play a major role in helping kids not turn toward violence.

“It starts at home and it’s going to take the whole community. It’s not going to take just the police department or sheriff’s department. It’s going to take a whole lot of effort and people to care to actually try to put an end to it,” said Weaver.

The free soccer camp with more than 50 kids held at the Boxwood Rec Center this week is one example of how the community is helping keep the youth engaged this summer.

This camp comes as organizers say the East Carver has been affected by violence and there are not many camps open at this time.

“There are a lot of groups out there, River Valley Church and some of these other places are doing like E gaming conventions and conferences down at the Civic Center. I know the Civic Center is working on several other activities to go along with that with basketball and some other things,” added Lewis.

Cure Violence Columbus is working on a midnight basketball program they hope to have up and running this fall.

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