City officials proclaim summer Club KC program a success

09/26/2013 5:14 PM

09/26/2013 5:14 PM

Attendance was up at this summer’s Club KC youth entertainment program, and no negative incidents were reported over the 12-week schedule, city officials said Thursday.

“Overall, it was great,” said Roosevelt Lyons, senior adviser for civic and community engagement in the mayor’s office. “It did exactly what it was supposed to do, provide fun and safe places for kids to go.”

This was the second summer of Club KC, which invited middle and high school students to some of the city’s community centers on Friday and Saturday nights. The city doubled its budget to $400,000, expanded the number of venues and expanded the dance and recreation schedule from eight to 12 weeks.

Attendance rose from 7,442 visits in 2012 to 9,063 verified visits this summer, Lyons told the City Council. The venues attracted 2,774 unique users, who visited an average of three times. Cost per visit came to about $33, and overall costs totaled $33,000 per weekend.

Some venues, including Brush Creek Community Center and the Gregg/Klice center, proved highly popular, while the KC North Community Center was not a consistent draw, Lyons said. Among youth responding to a survey, 80 percent said Club KC was fun, and 76 percent said they would likely attend again next summer.

Council members said the popularity of the program was a tribute to those providing the entertainment every weekend, including Reggie Hines and Jeff Atkins with KC Hoop. The police and parks departments also provided staff every weekend and helped with security.

Mayor Sly James praised all those involved but said next year the city needs to expand programming to reach youth who don’t necessarily want to spend their weekends dancing and socializing. He said he especially wants to reach teenagers interested in art and musical performance.

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