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First Friday Night Lights event of the summer kicks off in Marti - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

First Friday Night Lights event of the summer kicks off in Martin Park

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC -

The first Friday Night Lights event of the summer wrapped up this evening.

The event offers plenty of games and activities for kids such as baseball, basketball, and double dutch.

"We get excited every year when this comes around," said Crystal Reed.

Reed works for the Charleston Recreation Department, where she helps put on the community wide event.

"It's a great opportunity to meet your officers in your local communities," she said.

The event pairs police officers with kids of all ages to help build lasting bonds.

This is Officer Jennie Antonio's first Friday Night Light's event.

Antonio says her goal is to encourage kids to run towards police officers in tough times, not away from them.

"Children, if they see police, we're not always there in happy times in their lives,” she said. “So this gives them an opportunity to see us as real people."

Reed says by police officers forming friendships with youth early on, there is a greater chance that these kids will reach out to police officers later in their lives.

The Friday Night Lights Event is being held in numerous neighborhoods this summer, especially in communities that have a higher rate of crime.

"That has been our focus - to get our officers in there and offer positive activities," Reed said.

The Friday Night Lights events begin 7:00pm and last until around 10:00pm.

These are the locations and dates of the next events:

6/12 - Martin Park 6/19 - James Island 6/26 - Harmon Park 7/10 - Forest Park Playground 7/17 - Bridgeview Apartments 7/24 - Daniel Island, Governor's Park 7/31 - Martin Park 8/7 - Forest Park Playground 8/14 - James Island 8/21 - Harmon Park

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