AURORA, Colo. — This week and next, the City of Aurora is offering programs for kids by providing them a safe space while they're out of school over the winter break – this initiative follows a rash of violence in the city involving youth.
At least 15 teens were shot in Aurora less than three weeks around Thanksgiving.
On Dec. 15, the city announced the launch of the "Recharge your Batteries" campaign. The campaign which is runs until Dec. 31 is showcasing new or existing programs offered by the city to provide youth with safe places to go during winter break.
"We partnered with our community based organizations after the two most recent shootings and they hosted a large youth forum where over 70 youth attended and really what they asked of us is give us some space, some safe space," said Christina Amparan, the program manager of Aurora's Youth Violence Prevention Program.
Amparan's group is leading this campaign.
The program offers free access to the Central and Moorhead recreation centers for kids ages 12-17, where they can enjoy sports, dancing, swimming, improv classes and games, as well as the Aurora Police Department's "Five-0" gaming trailer. There will also be New Year's Eve celebrations for kids to join.
"We know the more youth we can engage in social activities the more likely they are going to be going down the right path," said Amparan.
Aurora police officer Virgil Majors came up with the idea of a video game trailer for kids in the community. The police department is partnering with the city during the campaign.
"To better engage with our youth to have that positive engagement experience that we the Aurora Police Department feel they are missing," said officer Majors.
> Watch video above: Aurora launches effort to prevent youth violence over winter break
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