‘Recharge Your Batteries’ campaign developed in Aurora after peak in youth violence – CBS Denver

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AURORA, Colorado (CBS4) – Over the next two weeks, Aurora teens can visit several safe spaces where they can participate in multiple activities, as well as access different programs and resources. This is all part of a new campaign called ‘Recharge Your Batteries’, organized by the City of Aurora Youth Violence Prevention Program, its Youth Council and municipal partners. This follows a recent outbreak of youth violence that included two shootings in or near high schools.

(credit: CBS)

“Some teens don’t realize that there are so many resources and that not all solutions are violence,” said Estrella Avendano, an Aurora teenager and youth council member of the Violence Prevention Program.

For each weekday of the Aurora Public School Winter Vacation, the city will host safe zones at the Central and Moorhead Recreation Centers. Teens will be able to have a snack or dinner and participate in a wide range of activities, including sports, dancing, swimming, improv lessons and video games.

“We heard from our young people and they asked for prosocial activities,” said Christina Amparan, Aurora’s youth violence prevention manager. “They asked us to provide them with safe spaces, so we wanted to take the initiative.

According to Amparan, these events are meant to be a safe place for teens to be themselves. At the same time, those suffering trauma from recent shootings can get in touch with staff and learn about the programs and resources available to them.

(credit: CBS)

In the long term, Amparan hopes that safe spaces like these can be a tool for the city to prevent violence in the future.

“We know that through prevention work, we may not see immediate results right away, but we know that taking these steps is essential,” Amparan said. “The more young people are engaged in prosocial activities; the more young people we can get off the streets.

Aurora Police Officer Virgil Majors is among several of the town’s staff working to bond with the teens throughout the campaign. He runs the department’s Five-O game trailer, an idea he helped bring to fruition as a way for agents to have great encounters with young people.

“I feel like officers, and the Aurora Police Department, we’re missing that part, besides handing out stickers,” Majors said. “Now we can bring them to us. “

The results may not be immediate, but organizers hope the connections made over the next two weeks will lead to less youth violence in the long run.

“We can’t always live in a world where there is violence everywhere, because there is always a solution to something,” Avendano said. “It’s just that you have to work hard for that and they have to stand up for the problem that’s going on.”

(credit: CBS)

Safety zones will be open at Central and Moorhead Recreation Centers from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday for the next two weeks.

Several events are also planned for New Year’s Eve. Find the full program of the “recharge your batteries” campaign here.


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