With the summer heating up, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) has cool, free teen programs to keep the fun going all season long. Summer Heatwave is back with Coed Basketball, a Teen Lounge and Pool Parties!
Summer Heatwave has been a partnership between PRCA, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) and State Attorney’s Office 8th Judicial Court Circuit. Last year, the basketball league had more than 500 participants from across Alachua County. This expansion has welcomed new program partners this year with the Alachua County Sherriff’s Office (ACSO) and Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR).
Operation Respect Yourself Pool Parties: This summer’s activities kick off Thursday, June 9 with a pool party to celebrate the last day of school at Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool, located at 1717 SE 15th St. At Operation Respect Yourself Pool Parties youth can swim, dance, listen to music and enjoy some food hot off the grill. Participants must sign in at the front desk to receive a wristband. The dates, times and locations for Operation Respect Yourself Pool Parties are:
- Thursday, June 9 from 3-7 p.m. at Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool (1717 SE 15th St.)
- Thursday, July 15, from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool (1001 NW 31st Dr.)
- Saturday, August 6 from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool (1100 NE 14th St.)
Coed Basketball: The Coed Basketball program starts Monday, June 13, and is available for kids age 11-18 (18, if still in school). Coed Basketball is open to all players, regardless of skill. Participants learn valuable skills for on and off the court. Coaches conduct a 20-minute lesson prior to every game using the Pursuing Victory with Honor curriculum from Character Counts. All athletes participating in Heatwave must attend, or they will not be allowed to participate in the games. Games and practices take place at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose (MLK) Center, located at 1028 NE 14th Street, after 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each age group has a single-elimination tournament during the last week of play. The league champions and runners-up play against teams from GPD, ACSO, GFR and other City of Gainesville staff on Thursday, Aug. 4.
Teen Lounges: Teen Lounges return Monday, June 13, and are available for kids age 11-18 (18, if still in school). This summer, the MLK Center will be open for a Teen Lounge with special activities such as swimming, cooking, movie night, video games and much more! The lounge is open Monday through Fridays from 6-9 p.m., and continues through Friday, Aug. 5. Participants can register at the center, and need a wristband to participate.
Register for Summer Heatwave in person at the MLK Center or the PRCA Administrative Office. The office is on the third floor of the Thomas Center, Building B, which is located at 306 NE Sixth Ave., and is open Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, please call 352-334-5067 or visit www.CityofGainesvilleParks.org. Participants are required to present proof of age at time of registration. Accepted forms are a birth certificate, a State of Florida or a 2015-16 School Year identification card.
For interviews and other program information, please contact Shannon Keleher, CPRE, MBA, AFO, recreation manager, at 352-393-8526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow Summer Heatwave, use #GNVHeatwave or find PRCA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GainesvillePRCA or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GainesvillePRCA.