CLEVELAND – When the school year wraps up, youth in the city of Cleveland will have another fun option at their disposal this summer.

Thanks to a $200,000 Cleveland Foundation grant, four city of Cleveland recreation centers: Cudell, Glenville, Lonnie Burten and Zelma George, will keep their doors open until 11 p.m. four nights a week throughout the summer.

The foundation’s hope is that expanded recreation center hours will help keep more young people engaged this summer.

The “Cleveland Nights” program will include summer evening basketball programs, as well as workshops on money management, job interviewing, conflict management and HIV/AIDS education.

The four centers will be open Wednesday through Friday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The program begins June 13 and will run for 11 weeks.

“Although summer signals the end of the school year, it does not mean that the learning process should stop,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. “The grant from the Cleveland Foundation will provide programming that will give the city’s youth organized activities and educational opportunities that will ensure development and learning continues during their summer break.”

Established in 1914, Cleveland Foundation’s goal is to improve lives of Greater Clevelanders now and for generations to come by building community endowment, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on vital issues.

“Youth development is one of the key areas of focus for the Cleveland Foundation,” said Cleveland Foundation Executive Vice President Robert Eckardt. “Research has shown that most cities that operate a midnight basketball program have a decrease in crime rate as well as a higher high school graduation rate. We’re thrilled that our board not only supported this grant, but suggested it. We look forward to seeing active recreation centers this summer.”

Article Courtesy of WEWS NewsChannel 5