Summer camps work to keep kids of the street

Many of you wrote in and asked us, "When it comes to crime, where are the parents?" while others have said kids just need something to do.  Wednesday, we looked to find out just what is out there to keep kids busy.

Kristi Hopson spends her summer days life guarding at one of the city's ten open pools. "It's too much going on out on the streets, and I don't want to jeopardize myself for the ignorance that's going on," she said.

The 18-year old has two children of her own to care for, and said she wants to help other young people find something good to do with their time.

A lot of kids are finding something to do at the Bickford Community Center,  one of 28 community centers in Memphis that are free & open to children throughout the week.

"We started with maybe one or two, and then they brought their friends and their cousins and neighbors, so things have grown through kids," said George Reaves, Director of the Bickford Community Center.
Reaves organizes sports, music, ceramics, computer and other programs, with the help of volunteers from Hope Presbyterian.  Bickford does not have a summer day camp, but 19 other community centers do.

According to parks administrators, enrollment at the summer camps is down this year, mostly because parents wouldn't, or couldn't, come up with the $5.00 per day fee.  At Bickford, Reaves said they will see anywhere from a few to a hundred kids on any given day.

"It takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch," he said. "But hopefully that's 13 apples that's gonna go out and do well.

Administrators tell us the city is working on opening up three more pools.
Summer camps are already underway at the community centers, but you may still be able to get your child in if you can appeal to whoever runs the program in your area.