2011-01-28 / School News

PAL Enriches Students Through The Arts


Left, Maya Smith from PAL’s Far Rockaway Beacon had her artwork featured in the month of August. Right, Ezra Cummings from PAL’s Far Rockaway Beacon was also displayed in the month of August. Left, Maya Smith from PAL’s Far Rockaway Beacon had her artwork featured in the month of August. Right, Ezra Cummings from PAL’s Far Rockaway Beacon was also displayed in the month of August. Calendar illustrator, published poet and awardwinning dancer are just a few titles that Queens youngsters have thanks to the Police Athletic

League (PAL).

During PAL’s After School Programs at PAL’s Edward Bryne Center in South Jamaica, PS 214 in Flushing and PAL’s Far Rockaway Beacon and Redfern Cornerstone in Arverne-Far Rockaway, children in first through eighth grades have the chance to explore their creativity through PAL ARTS, the arts programming that participants rotate through every week in addition to academic and recreation and wellness programming. PAL ARTS focuses on children’s self-expression and enhances their awareness of cultural activities throughout New York City.

Academic lessons are interwoven into the curriculum through activities including drawing, painting, photography, music, dance, art, creative writing and drama.

In first through fourth grades, PAL ARTS focuses on arts learning, the development of fine motor skills and talent exploration, while in fifth through eighth grades, children are encouraged to take part in performances and explore arts careers and professional New York City art opportunities.

PAL also works in collaboration with performing and visual artists who teach classes and mentor students.

“As schools are continuing to cut arts programming, PAL ARTS works towards fulfilling an essential component in helping New York City’s young people on their developmental journey to becoming well-rounded, productive adults, full of hope and aspirations,” said PAL Executive Director Felix A. Urrutia Jr. “With New York City having such a wide selection of artistic opportunities, we are fortunate to provide children the chance to see the multitude of ways they can express themselves.”


PS 214’s Iris Lin’s artwork was selected as the cover of PAL’s 2011 Calendar. PS 214’s Iris Lin’s artwork was selected as the cover of PAL’s 2011 Calendar. PAL ARTS also provides boys and girls the opportunity to shine through a variety of arts contests. The young people’s creativity is rewarded with once-in-alifetime opportunities such as working with a professional poet to prepare for reciting their original poem at PAL’s Annual Poetry Jam, performing dance routines for hundreds of their peers and the local community and being able to display their work in an exhibit at a New York City gallery. Recently, nine Queens youngsters were chosen to have their artwork published in PAL’s 2011 Calendar. Fifth graders, Iris Lin, Chun (Stephanie) Chen and Alan Sun from PS 214, along with first grader Maya Smith, fourth grader Erza Cummings, fifth grader Kiaria Roache and sixth graders Rakim Griffin, Melanie Ozoria and Torri Sherard from PAL’s Far Rockaway Beacon were selected to have their drawings featured in the calendar, depicting this year’s theme of “Saving Wildlife.”


Chun (Stephanie) Chen from PS 214 had her artwork published as the month of May. Chun (Stephanie) Chen from PS 214 had her artwork published as the month of May. PAL ARTS also provides the opportunity to teach children to believe in themselves, learn to accept other’s points of view and to work as part of a team. “I really enjoy participating in cheerleading and dance at PAL,” said nine-year-old My’shelle from PAL’s Edward Byrne Center. “I have learned to express my feelings through the routines we learn. Plus I know that my team is always there for me because we have to work together for our dances to be great.”

New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first, largest and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served the city’s young people for 97 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to over 56,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization, and the best friend a kid can have. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.

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