DETROIT (WJBK) - When schools let out for the summer, teachers, superintendents and even parents exhale - but only for a moment.
"There's nothing that worries me more than ... to think about what our children will be doing over the summer," said Dr.Nikolai Vitti, Detroit Public Schools superintendent. Over the past decade, the problem of idle time has become increasingly worse in Detroit. Recreation centers in the city went from 27 in 2006 to just 11 last year.
"It seems like that's the way it went in this city," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "When we hit on hard times, the children took the brunt of the cuts."
But come Monday, all that will change for the better. The city and Detroit Public Schools Community will re-open those closed-down centers as Summer Fun Centers.
"This is a great opportunity for our children to move off of our streets, come inside, build new friendships," said Detroit City Councilmember Andre Spivey.
The city will staff these centers with 190 park and recreation employees with a cost of $625,000 for the five weeks the 27 centers will be open.
"I think this recreation is going to be a good thing because a lot of people live over here, a lot of kids ... so it's in the neighborhood," said Jamirah Edison, a student at East English High School.
Kids ages 6 to 17 will be able to come in from the summer to play in a safe and structured setting as long as they live in the city and register online or in person. They will have access to indoor and outdoor athletic equipment, arts and crafts, and media centers. Summer Fun Centers will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will provide three meals throughout the day to participants.
"Too many times, kids -- if you don't give them something positive to do they will find something negative to do," said Keith Flournoy, director of Detroit Parks and Recreation.
In addition to finding the information online HERE, look for signs that will be posted outside of the schools that will be used as recreation centers in the city.
NOTICE: The Summer Fun Center at Western High School is closed on opening day, Monday, July 10, due to a watermain break