Kids Participate In PAL Opening Day
The children from the Redfern Cornerstone competed in Tug-of-War with members of the NYPD Liaison Unit. In addition, the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force provided a portable rock climbing wall, along with drug prevention information.
“I love coming to PAL during the summer,” said 11-year-old Shalyce Johnson, who is from PAL’s Redfern Cornerstone.
“I get to hang out with my friends, go on field trips to fun places and participate in a lot of activities like Nok Hockey and Double Dutch jump rope.”
The PAL site is located at West Bourne Playground, between Mott Avenue and Beach 25 Street. Play Streets are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through August 19, and are free to all children.
The children participated in the opening ceremonies and cooled off under a fire hydrant opened by PAL Board Member and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., PAL Vice Chairman Robert J. McGuire, NYPD Community Affairs Inspector David Colon and PAL Acting Executive Director Alana Sweeny. PAL Honorary President and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly also visited the children and participated in the celebration.
“We are excited to open the 2011 PAL Play Streets season today. Thanks to our many generous supporters, our kids can have a safe, stimulating and enjoyable experience throughout the summer months,” said Alana Sweeny, PAL’s Acting Executive Director.
Hundreds of PAL youngsters will be playing Skelly, Double Dutch jump rope, Nok Hockey, Hopscotch, Jacks, Tug-of- War and other traditional city sidewalk games.
The 2011 World Police & Fire Games also participated in the opening, as the Police Athletic League is an official legacy organization for the games that will take place from August 26 to September 5 in New York City. There was a booth about the upcoming games and free giveaways through Bronx Toys.
During the summer, PAL closes off streets and other public areas throughout New York City to give children safe, supervised places to play. PAL Play Streets offer sports, arts, games, crafts, music and dance. PAL is operating throughout the five boroughs this summer, providing Play Streets, sports leagues including Cops & Kids teams and day camps.
Approximately 7,500 children will be served on 50 Play Streets in all five boroughs. Children develop their creativity through arts, and learn from a wide range of educational, recreational and cultural arts specialists. Play Streets, which include organized play areas in playgrounds, schools or on city streets, will operate for a total of seven weeks.
This year, MetLife Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Daniel Rose, the New York City Council and the Mayor’s Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator are sponsoring the PAL Play Streets Program.
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 New York City’s young people for 97 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to over 50,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.