As the City of Chicago continues to struggle with gang and gun violence, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been working on different ways to keep city's children safe. He announced in a February 19 press release that the Windy City Hoops program will be expanding.
The goals of the year-round basketball project are to give at-risk kids something to do outside of school, reduce gang activity, and foster growth. The mayor is working with Isiah Thomas and the Chicago Park District to expand the basketball program. He has also called on Chicagoans to donate to the project.
Ten city parks have been chosen for the expansion project. These parks are located in Englewood, Roselawn, Rogers Park, Woodlawn, Kenwood, North Lawndale, Austin, and East Garfield. The parks were chosen because of the need in those areas for more outreach programs.
The program will create an additional 3,200 registration slots for children ages 13-17. The leagues will be open on Fridays from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Isiah Thomas said of the program, " I am happy to be involved with a program that will allow many others the same valuable opportunities that I had. I was taught to try and use the sports platform to go out and help others and better my community. "
If you are interested in contributing to the Windy City Hoops program, you can do so at cityofchicago.org/hoops.