Boys and Girls club works to curb crime

The fun factor is HIGH at the new Boys and Girls Club in Hickory Hill and so are the grades!
It's report card day...and many of the 150 club members -- youngsters from nearby Kirby Middle and Ross Elementary -- are proud of their work and their new club!

Boys and Girls Club member Raven Wilson says, "...I love the boys and girls club because it gives me something to do instead of going home."
The Boys and Girls Club picked Hickory Hill after a study revealed 14-thousand kids living within a 5-mile radius -- with nothing to do.

Club Director Lisa Hume says, "...There's no really grassroots community for the kids, which is exactly why we're here."

Crime is there too.

Within the past 30 days inside a 1-mile radius of the new club on Ross Road, police made 14 domestic violence arrests, 14 burglary arrests, 4 aggravated assault arrests, and 19 arrests for thefts over 5-hundred dollars.

Just last week, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton stressed the need for more structure in young lives.

Mayor Herenton said, "We all know there has been a dramatic increase in the crime rate as being committed by youth."

At the Boys and Girls Club of Hickory Hill...they're working to change that.

Hume continues, "One of the things we teach is street smarts, conflict resolution, what to do in a peer pressure situation..."

Lessons Latravia Benson plans on using to become a lawyer or gospel singer.

Boys and Girls club member Latravia Benson says, "...I think it's a great opportunity for kids who just go home after school"

The Boys and Girls Club of Hickory Hill -- ten acres that hold great promise for so many young lives.