How do you get teenagers out of bed, away from the Internet or off the street?

Just ask, apparently.

York City officials -- in cooperation with the city school district and community groups -- are trying that obvious tactic with the new Teens' Fourth Friday festivities, modeled after First Fridays but geared specifically at teenagers.

The inaugural event kicked off last week on Cherry Lane with a DJ, basketball, free hot dogs and a chance to take on Mayor Kim Bracey in a game of checkers.

George Fitch, the ninth-grade principal at William Penn, came up with Fourth Friday as a way to reach the far too many youths he sees hanging out on the streets of York.

It's a nice idea -- and a good way to not only keep kids out of trouble but also to get them more involved in their community. Besides the entertainment, groups also were on hand to distribute information and sign up teens for various programs.

"I think that any time that we can bring young people together in a positive way and have them do activities or get involved in clubs or organizations that reach them and allow them to work together and play together and compete together and just be together in a positive situation, all of those activities are great," district Superintendent Eric Holmes said.

Fourth Friday appeared to be a hit with the youths who came out.


If she hadn't attended, 14-year-old Imarii Dennison admitted, "I am pretty sure I would probably be sleeping."

Instead, she had a pretty good time and signed up to volunteer at Crispus Attucks -- something she'd been intending to do for a while but hadn't gotten around to.

Teens' Fourth Friday will continue for at least three more months, including events at a skating rink, the York YMCA and at Broad Park Manor.

Hopefully, word spreads and it becomes as popular with teens as First Fridays are with their parents.