The Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s popular summer youth program kicks off Friday for the third year in a row.
The fun gets under way with Hot Summer Nights from 6 to 9 p.m. at King Richard’s Family Fun Park, 6780 Airport-Pulling Road N., North Naples.
Admission to the park is free for everyone. Rides are free for kids and adults can ride at a discounted price. There will be a cost for games and food.
Fishing, swimming, boat-building, movies, sports, music and games are just a few of the activities that combine to continue to make Summerfest CCSO’s most ambitious summer youth program ever. The program offers a wide range of fun and free activities for all grade levels in a safe environment at various locations around Collier County.
Summerfest is made possible thanks to partnerships with Collier County Parks and Recreation, the Collier County School District and more than 200 area donor businesses and individuals.
New this year will be child fingerprinting events and the “Have A Ball program” in which deputies will keep footballs, basketballs and soccer balls in their patrol cars so they can engage in sports activities with kids between calls.
Once again, CCSO Youth Relations deputies will be assigned to summer youth programs instead of being assigned to patrol duties. This reallocation allows CCSO to expand its summer youth offerings without additional costs to the community.
Here are some of the ways the Collier County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to make sure our community’s children and teens have as safe and fun summer.
Hot Summer Nights
This popular program will take place Friday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at parks and other locations throughout Collier County. Open to students in middle and high school. Hot Summer Nights includes water slides, music, dancing games, sports, roller skating, and water park events. Kids can snack on snow cones, popcorn and hot dogs served up by deputies.
D.E.P.U.T.Y. Club is a summer program for students in first grade through fifth grade. It takes place Wednesdays for seven weeks from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 20 through July 25 at the Italian American Club Foundation, 7035 Airport-Pulling Road, North Naples.
Open Gym – Basketball
Gymnasiums at Lely, Golden Gate and Immokalee high schools will be open for basketball and supervised by CCSO Youth Relations deputies several afternoons a week. The gyms will be set up to allow students, ages 11 to 18, to have supervised recreation and interaction with law enforcement.
Teen Driver Challenge
This is a 12-hour program that partners newly licensed drivers with deputies to learn skills and laws. This is both a classroom and hands-on program. Approximately 12-15 participants are involved in each monthly program.
CCSO will hold child identification events at various locations over the summer. Deputies will create photo IDs and take child fingerprints, which can be used if a child ever goes missing.
This program is an opportunity for high-schoolers ages 14 to 18 to accomplish the task of building a boat while staying active and earning their boaters safety certificate. The Build-A-Boat program will talk place at Everglades City School, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and at I-Tech in Immokalee.
Students ages 11 to 14 will learn to work with tools and work together to build a chair at Lely High School, Golden Gate Middle School, Immokalee Middle School, East Naples Middle School/Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology, and Everglades Community Center.
Middle School Community Outreach Camp
CCSO is partnering with Golden Gate Middle School to offer sixth- and seventh-grade students a free day camp. Activities will include basketball, lacrosse, softball, flag football, soccer, and track and field.
Go fishing with CCSO at the Naples Pier. This program is a partnership between CCSO, City of Naples and Boys and Girls Club that takes place every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon from June 20 through Aug.11 Kids ages 10-16 will fish and learn about water safety.
Have A Ball
Throughout the summer, the trunks of many marked patrol cars will contain basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, and volley balls. If a deputy is between calls and spots kids congregating, he or she will stop, take out a ball and toss it around with them while getting to know them. The deputy will leave the ball with the children as a memento. Have A Ball seeks to build relationships between kids and deputies and to leave kids with not only a positive impression of law enforcement officers, but to keep them occupied in a positive activity.
A complete schedule of activities can be found on the CCSO website, http://www.colliersheriff.org. Click on the pull-down tab labeled “We Can Help,” then click on “Youth Relations” then “CCSO Summerfest.” Or for more information call CCSO’s Youth Relations Bureau at 530-9741, or firstname.lastname@example.org.