KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An annual summer tradition begins in Kansas City Saturday.

Mayor’s Night Hoops, Mayor’s Night Kicks, Mayor’s Night Nets, and Club KC all begin June 11. A massive kick-off event will take place at the Southeast Community Center from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The idea behind the organized activities is to provide a safe place for children and teenagers while also giving them something to do during evenings.

Emanuel Cleaver launched Mayor’s Nights Hoops when he was Kansas City’s mayor in the 1990s. The events have since expanded to attract even more kids.

“Thousands of Kansas Citians have benefited from comradery with teammates, creating relationships with trusted mentors, and receiving valuable job training and ACT preparation. Youth activities and programs like this one make a difference, and this is an important program in our goal to keep our young people engaged in positive activities and to keep our neighborhoods safe. I’m excited to lace up on the court this season and show our kids we care about them,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said.

Night Hoops, Night Nets, and Night Kicks are held at community centers and KC Parks facilities, but organizers said the programs are not just about sports.

Each participant is also required to take a series of classes, including job training, life skills, or A.C.T. preparation. Students must also abide by program rules, or they won’t be allowed to participate.

In addition, Club KC allows teenagers to gather and socialize in a safe environment on summer weekends.

Registration for each activity takes place at the door. An ID and registration fee is required. Additional information about requirements can be found through KC Parks.