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‘Lights on, Peoria’ will welcome students to high schools on weekends to keep kids busy, safe

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Peoria, Il (HOI) - Two Peoria Public high schools are turning the lights on after school hours to keep students busy and safe.

The concept originally came from New Jersey. The program allows Manual and Peoria High to open their doors on Friday and Saturday nights to invite kids for a warm meal and plenty of activities.

Peoria Public Schools secured a $3.4 million federal grant for five years of the 'Lights on, Peoria' program. Chief of safety for Peoria Public Schools, Demario Boone, says the goal is to start this program next month.

"We just want kids to come into the school to have better choices, more opportunities. We want them to come in and have a whole experience, where they can go to the laundry room get their clothes cleaned, you're not just going to sit there on a cell phone. You go into another room where there's a guest speaker, you go to another room there can be a game room or you can get your haircut," said Boone.

Manual and Peoria high will welcome students from 8pm-10:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Some of the activities and services would include: Laundry room, game room, swimming, film making, photography, recording studio, barber shop, beauty shop, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, school supply store, toiletry supplies, cooking class, basketball, physical fitness, movies, life skills, guest speakers, voter registration and job skills.

Some bus routes are being considered to even pick up and drop off students.

PPS is now looking for volunteers to lend their time and efforts with 'Lights on, Peoria'.

Jenise Rebholz

Evening Anchor, Heart of Illinois ABC

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