As the school year comes to a close, we at PAL have a number of celebrations in June to acknowledge the hard work of our kids and our partnership with NYPD.
Earlier this month, the winners of the “Police Commissioner for the Day” essay competition - a collaboration between the NYPD and PAL - were announced at a ceremony at Police Headquarters. Over 500 young people took part in this year’s competition, and the ceremony was one of the highlights of the school year. You can read Jenna Firodimondo’s winning essay on PAL’s website.
A few weeks ago, we hosted the annual Junior Police Jamboree for more than 200 PAL youth. The Jamboree celebrates a year of team-building activities and mentoring by NYPD officers. This program harkens back to PAL’s very beginnings. The very first Junior Police Club was created by Officer John Sweeney in 1914. He intuitively knew that kids needed to be a part of the solution to problems in their neighborhoods, and a positive relationship with the police was a good start. Although New York City has changed over the years, we still firmly believe in helping PAL kids participate in strengthening their communities.
Our after-school programs have ended, but many of our PAL kids will continue on at one of our 21 summer camps and 15 PAL PLAYSTREETS. Each year, we choose a topic for the educational component of PAL summer camps. This year the theme is Music from Around the World. Campers at each PAL center will learn about a different music genre and showcase what they have learned at one of our citywide events, including Cultural Day in August.
As always, we are grateful for supporters like you, who sustain our mission to serve youth in many different ways. If you want to know more about how your support helps PAL, please contact PAL through our website or by calling 1-800-PAL-4KID option 3.
Frederick J. Watts