Tampa Parks “Stay and Play” A Summer Success, Program Hours Extended for the 2015-2016 School Year

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Strong community participation and community feedback demonstrate need for program

Tampa, Fla. (August 18, 2015) – In June, Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced two significant Parks initiatives to help keep kids safe throughout the summer by extending hours of parks facilities and providing free recreation cards (“Rec Cards”). Both programs were a success, and hours will be extended this school year.

“The goal with ‘Stay and Play’ was to help curb the rising tide of violence as summer started. We gave kids a choice to be a part of a safe, productive, and fun environment, and it was an overwhelming success,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “This is a success not just in terms of the thousands of kids who participated, but in terms of the number of kids who were not left facing potentially violent situations in our streets this summer. There is no better return on investment than that.”

By The Numbers

From June 11, the program’s kick-off, to today, August 18, 2015 15,231 kids participated in the City of Tampa’s “Stay and Play” programming at nine different city facilities, and 1,258 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 years old signed up for free “Rec Cards.” For perspective, for the entire year June 1, 2014 to June 11, 2015, 1,658 “Rec Cards” were purchased for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 years old.

The “Rec Cards” are good for one year and allow for access into facilities and programming, including free After School programs during the school year.

These numbers are in addition to the 2,834 kids who attended the City’s traditional summer camps and the 3,882 who attended specialty camps.

The City also increased the number of scholarships available this summer providing a total of 1,228 kids with scholarships totaling over $75,000.

Keeping Our Kids Safe

City of Tampa Police and Parks and Recreation Security worked together throughout the summer to keep all participating youth safe. There were no incidents at any of the nine participating facilities.

Extended Hours Continue This Fall

Building off the summer success, the following recreation centers will be opening from 10AM to at least 6PM on the weekends throughout the fall, providing extended Saturday and Sunday hours previously not offered:

•           Copeland Park Community Center, 11001 North 15th Street
•           Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 2200 North Oregon Avenue
•           Grant Park Activity Center, 3724 North 54th Street
•           Jackson Heights Community Center, 3310 East Lake Avenue
•           Springhill Community Center, 1000 East Eskimo Avenue

Free “Rec Cards” will continue.

Activities will be in a semi-structured environment and vary by location. Those activities will range from sporting activities like basketball to arts and guest speakers.

The anticipated cost for the extension of school-year hours is approximately $100,000.


For additional information, please contact:
Christina Barker, Special Assistant to the Mayor
(813) 274-8497