GREENSBORO, N.C. – The start of summer vacation also signals the kick-off for the city of Greensboro's program, Summer Night Lights.
The city launched the program last year.
"The purpose is to give teens something to do in the summer, a place to hang out with their friends that's safe and structured. A place where parents don't have to worry about where there kids are because they are in a safe environment," said Michelle Gill-Moffat, City of Greensboro.
For the past few years, unsupervised teenagers were responsible for starting fights in Downtown Greensboro.
In July 2012, police had to use tear gas to break up a crowd of about 1,000 people.
Last summer, as many as 11 people, ages 16 to 20-years-old, were arrested over one weekend for starting fights. Charges included Inciting a Riot and Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. The fights prompted city leaders to implement a teen curfew.
This summer, the city is hoping SNL will work again to keep teenagers out of trouble.
The first event was on Friday, June 13.
Summer Night Lights is funded by the Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department. It also receives funds from the Greensboro Public Library and Greensboro Police Department. The Weaver Foundation,Cone Health Foundation, Summit Rotary, Children's Home Society of NC, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, and Sheetz also contribute to SNL.
Greensboro resident Don Jackson says he's happy to spend tax dollars on this program.
Jackson said, "I wouldn't mind our taxpayers paying for something like that because you can see that it is actually doing something good."
He added, "Kids need a place to go, to hangout, to learn things give them something to do besides doing naughty stuff."
"I like programs like this. To me, it promotes the city for one, because it gives the kids something to do and two, it lets me know someone is looking out for our youth," said Omega Crawford, Greensboro resident and parent.