For the kids, it's all fun and games, but today's gang task force event at the East Lake Recreation Center carries a serious message to parents.
"Research indicates that illiteracy is a big problem in the inner city. We know from the research that prison officials make their annual projection of the number of cells that they build from year to year based on young children not being able to read well and comprehend well by grade three," says Fred Houser with the Gang Task Force.
"I think if we can get more parents to participate and understand how important a GED or getting a 12th grade education is, that they become a role model to their kids, and I think if we can get it to catch on like that, we could sort of like educate a lot of people in how important education is," adds Skip Eberhardt, founder of Saving Kids, Instilling Pride.
The gang task force also seeks to incorporate the Hispanic community, which continues to grow in Hamilton County.
"The comprehensive gang assessment says that with the increase of the Hispanic community, we will most likely see an increase in Hispanic gang violence, gang activity. So what we are trying to do now is be smart about it, be proactive so we don't have to be as reactive further on down the road," Houser says.
"We just hope that the entire community will realize that if we want to thrive as a community we need to collaborate and there is people in place that want to start being good examples in the inner city and hopefully individuals will realize that literacy is the way to go, that literacy is how you make opportunities and maximize your potential," adds Jose Perez, founder of MaxiMYze.
A future that they hope leads to fewer gang members and more community leaders.
"We really hope that through literacy we really start to link ourselves with other cultures and to link ourselves with the other cultures and start to promote and reveal what we bring to the table and how we can help make a community thrive," Perez says.