KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's top politician spent some time recruiting young ones Saturday.
Major Sly James joined organizers and parents at the Brush Creek Community Center to launch registration for this year's Mayor's Nights.
The city created the program more than a decade ago, to give youth a safe, supervised place to spend summer Friday nights. Kids can shoot hoops, dance, and play games.
The program costs the city between $400,000 to $500,000 each year; something the mayor says is well worth the investment.
Mayor James said, "First of all, we have better connection with our kids. Second of all, we know that juvenile crime and juvenile victimization are down 18% when the events are in process. Third, it creates a much better feeling amongst the adults in the community who know that we're doing everything we can to take care of kids."
Mayor James continued, "Kids below the age of 21 really find themselves with a lack of things to do. They entertain themselves to occupy their time. Kids when they have nothing else to do, will often find something to do that's not productive."
The mayor encourages kids and parents to sign up online this week, or stop by City Hall or any of the city community centers. He says signing up early will help prevent a backup of those who show up Friday night, for the program's first event of the summer.
Click here to learn more about Mayor's Nights. Youth and adults can play basketball, soccer, and volleyball as well as enjoy Club KC, designed by kids for kids. Events run at different times and locations throughout the city all summer, so make sure to check out the link above.