BRONX YOUNGSTERS CELEBRATE LAUNCH OF POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE’S
2011 SUMMER PLAY STREETS PROGRAM
Children cool off under a fire hydrant at the opening ceremony of PAL’s Summer Play Streets Program.
The Police Athletic League (PAL) kicked off the 2011 Summer Play Streets Program on July 6, 2011, at the PAL Harlem Center, on Manhattan Avenue at 119th Street, with hundreds of PAL youngsters playing Skelly, Double Dutch jump rope, Nok Hockey, Hopscotch, Jacks, Tug-of-War and other traditional city sidewalk games.
Bronx 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.
Bronx youngsters from PAL’s New South Bronx Center and PS 48 in Hunts Point 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. 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 26th to September 5th in New York City. There was a booth about the upcoming games and free giveaways through Bronx Toys.
“This is my third summer coming to PAL,” said 11-year-old Kay’on McKnight from PS 48 in the Bronx. “I love getting to see my friends from last summer, making new friends and having fun with all the activities we do.”
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. Locations are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are free to all New York City children. 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.