Free community events will provide safe spaces for youth to gather
The City of Chattanooga today announced a weeklong series of community activities designed to give students safe places to gather during Hamilton County Schools’ spring break. Coordinated in partnership with numerous local organizations, the programming is free and includes a mix of events for all ages as part of the city’s ongoing work to empower young people and prevent youth violence.
“Our kids have to be able to imagine a future where they can thrive — and a pathway to get there that doesn’t ever involve resorting to violence,” said Chris Sands, Executive Director of Community Safety and Gun Violence Prevention for the Chattanooga Office of Community Health. “Programming during school breaks is one of the many approaches we’re using to reach and empower our city’s youth.”
The weeklong series of events kicks off on Saturday, Apr. 1, and runs through Saturday, Apr. 8, with activities including a basketball tournament, breakdancing competition, community cookout and more. The events will be held at various locations throughout the city, including community centers, parks, and schools. The entire event schedule is available online at cha.city/springbreak.
“We’ve received incredibly positive feedback from students and families on our previous school break activities, and we’re thrilled to be back and better with more events this spring break,” said Sands. “It’s all about helping our city’s youth meet their full potential.”
When dropping students off at events, parents should wait until their child is safely inside the venue before leaving. All students must be picked up by the stated end time of each event. City officials will be carefully monitoring each event’s capacity to prevent overflow.
Registration is not required for most events, with the exception of the basketball tournament Apr. 1-2 at the Chris Ramsey Community Center.
The spring break event schedule was developed in partnership with an extensive group of city departments and community organizations, including:
- The City’s Office of Community Health
- The City’s Department of Community Development
- Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors
- Chattanooga Police Department (CPD)
- PEAK (Placing Emphasis Around Kids)
- Community Haven
- First Baptist Cares
- Community Development & Services
- Excellence Over Excuses LLC
- SCORE International
- Nothing But Net
- Trained to Go (TTG)
- McCallie School
- Chattanooga Preparatory School
- The Oatmeal Experience
- CAD (Cntrl, Alt, Del.)
Youth empowerment is one piece of the City of Chattanooga’s approach to ending gun violence in the city. The city has worked with community partners to provide safe programming for students during school breaks for more than a year.
The city is also investing $3.7 million in federal funds into public safety initiatives to empower young people and create a safer future for the community as part of the One Chattanooga Relief and Recovery Plan.
Last year, Mayor Kelly released his administration’s Roadmap to End Gun Violence in Chattanooga, which includes actions to both intervene in violence on city streets and prevent it in the long-term.