Tie-Breaker Needed During PAL Challenge Final
After weeks of laborious studying, teams of fifth through eighth graders from PAL centers across Philadelphia participated in academic competitions in hopes of being named the 2014 PAL Challenge champions. Exciting matches in the four regionals brought Gibbons, Cobbs Creek, Fairhill, and Tacony PAL centers to the final competition on November 20th. The championship game between the Gibbons and Fairhill teams ended in a tie so both teams stuck around to play another board. Gibbons PAL was ultimately victorious and took first place while Fairhill was awarded second.
Players were quizzed in a variety of categories including Math, Science, Philadelphia History, Colleges and Universities, Geography, and more. This PAL tradition is fun and educational for more than 100 kids across the City, while improving positive study habits and building their confidence as students. Final competitors received sweatshirts, medals, plaques and a delicious taco dinner. All participants received a commemorative PAL Challenge t-shirt.
PAL congratulates all participants for a fun and successful 21st Annual PAL Challenge.
Future Lawyers Get Their First Taste with PAL Mock Trial
After several weeks of practice, dozens of Rizzo PAL members performed their first Mock Trial on November 18th. Participants prepared with students from Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.
The law students explained the case, and then helped PAL kids and teens select a part to play in the trial: lawyer, witness, suspect, victim or juror. They drafted questions to interrogate the opposing side in order to prove suspect “Kiran Taufique,” guilty of kidnapping beyond reasonable doubt. After much deliberation, the jury of peers and parents ruled in favor of the Defendant.
The trial was followed by a reception hosted by Dean Mary McGovern of The Kline School of Law. Participants, many of whom see a law career in their future, created lasting relationships with the law students they worked with. The group of Rizzo PAL members will also partake in peer-mediation training sessions this spring to learn how to solve conflicts before they reach the court level.
PAL thanks all participants, volunteers, Drexel University, and PAL Board Member and Philadelphia lawyer Gino Benedetti, who presided over the trial.
North Penn PAL Welcomes Community to Showcase Fun Programming
North Penn PAL was packed with excited children and their families on November 12th for a Community Fair and Open House. Attendees enjoyed healthy snacks and played carnival games to win prizes before hearing from several guest speakers. North Penn PAL Center Director P/O Glenn Haskins, PAL Supervisor Sgt. Vincene Morris, and Executive Director Ted Qualli welcomed guests and encouraged them to utilize all that the center offers.
The lively crowd enjoyed performances from ArtWell, an arts education organization who will bring their percussion program to North Penn in spring 2015, and the Positive Movement Drill Team which is continuing to grow in the neighborhood. Instructors from both organizations invited the children to sign up and participate. To close the evening, a few lucky attendees won Philly sports teams’ gear as raffle prizes.
PAL thanks North Penn PAL Adopt-A-Center partner TD Charitable Foundation, ArtWell, and the Positive Movement Drill team for a fun-filled night and for providing enriching programs to kids in North Philadelphia.
PAL Teens Learn Interview Skills from AlliedBarton Executives
This fall, AlliedBarton Security Services hosted two career training workshop sessions targeted at teaching PAL teens interview skills. Participants at the Logan and Tacony PAL centers learned how to present themselves in a courteous and professional manner. Many of the young men and women in attendance reported that they had never been interviewed before.
AlliedBarton executives lead the interactive presentation and shared their personal stories of hard work and determination. They explained and demonstrated traits of presentable attire and the importance of first impressions during the job interview process.
Participants received professional portfolios filled with essential “Do’s and Don’ts” for interviews. Following the training, everyone signed the Best Foot Forward Pledge to commit to appropriate interview behavior, including dressing appropriately, arriving on time, speaking articulately and following up in a timely manner.
PAL thanks AlliedBarton Division President for National Security Operations and PAL Board Member Ron Rabena and all AlliedBarton executives for bringing such a unique and relevant program to teens in Philadelphia.
PAL’s Citywide Flag Football season came down to a thrilling, nail-biter of a close in November.
The season kicked off with a one-day tournament in October, which was held as a positive, out-of-school time team-building and mentoring opportunity for children. Following the tournament, PAL centers across the city hosted their in-house leagues to compete for a spot in the Citywide Championship.
The Championship matchup, played on Team Vick Field in Hunting Park, boasted South Philly’s powerhouse Ford PAL vs. Germantown’s resilient Paley PAL.
The Veterans’ Day showdown was predicted to be a toss-up – both teams had the unity, skill and leadership to compete for the PAL Flag Football League’s highest honor. Out of the gate, though, Ford PAL’s quick-moving offense and stingy defense proved too much for Paley. Ford dismantled Paley with quick strikes, big plays and major stops on defense.
The lopsided score didn’t leave as much as a scratch on the character or grit of Paley PAL’s unwavering, never-give-up mentality. During half-time, Police Officer Ernie Pollard talked with his team and encouraged them to keep playing their best.
Paley came back strong in the second half. Their invigorated play stumped Ford PAL, and, drive by drive, they effortlessly put up points while stalling Ford’s hot offense. With minutes left, they tied the game and kept their championship dreams alive.
Both teams went into overtime with a fresh, can-do mindset thanks to positive coaching and good attitudes. After a few minutes of play, Ford PAL reestablished their quick-striking offense, and, with a few big plays, the quarterback was able to move down the field and fire a beautifully thrown pass into a teammate’s arms in the end zone leading them to victory.
Supported largely by donations from the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation, through the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation Tour de Shore, the Flag Football season was a huge success. Kids from around the City spent quality time under the guidance of their mentors from the Philadelphia Police Department in safe and productive environments, while having fun and staying physically active with their teammates.
Congratulations to the kids of Ford and Paley PAL on their winning efforts, positive attitudes, and choice to stay involved in constructive programming. Additionally, congrats to Police Officer Joe Ellerby and Ford PAL on winning the 2014 PAL Flag Football Citywide Championship.
Call it a friendly rivalry – The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia and its Dallas counterpart, the Dallas Police Athletic League, took to social media to have some fun and support their respective hometown football teams. The two PAL chapters have a little wager in place in regard to the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving.
Dubbed #PALTurkeyBowl, the twitter-fueled competition began as a simple back-and-forth regarding the upcoming divisional challenge on Turkey Day. Encouraging messages from PAL kids, police, and staffers were being posted online in support of the Eagles and the Cowboys.
Then things got interesting.
Dallas and Philly decided to make things a bit juicier by putting a couple hometown favorites on the line: If the Cowboys win, Philly will send Dallas a package of Philly PAL T-Shirts and gear, as well as some delicious Philadelphia favorites – TastyKake. If the Birds win, Dallas will send Philly some Dallas PAL gear and some Pecan Lodge BBQ food. Additionally, the losing team’s staff will wear the other city’s PAL shirts for a day.
It will be a great game, but one thing is certain: Philly PAL kids think Dallas is making a Texas-sized mistake by betting against the Eagles.
For up-to-date info on #PALTurkeyBowl, search for the hashtag #PALTurkeyBowl and follow PAL on twitter @PhillyPAL.
PAL Members Focus on Anti-Bullying through Interactive Lessons
In honor of October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, PAL hosted two exciting and interactive lessons at centers across Philadelphia. PAL partnered with Ethical Music Entertainment to educate and encourage youth to take a stand against bullying. The events also contributed towards PAL’s goal of achieving No Place for Hate designations from the Anti-Defamation League.
Attendees watched parts of a documentary by iChoose2Live to learn about the ramifications of bullying. iChoose2Live is a nonprofit organization that utilizes performing and media arts to facilitate positive youth development among adolescents and young adults between 12 to 24 years of age living in urban communities. Kids watched a theatrical bullying intervention exhibit by performer, Mr. Russell, who motivated the teens and parents to do their part to prevent bullying in their communities.
The program culminated in an exciting performance by recording artist BriaMarie. She spoke to the youngsters about her personal experiences as a victim of bullying and encouraged them to tell an adult if they are in a similar situation which was “the best decision I ever made,” she said. BriaMarie sang her latest hit, “C. C. I. (Cool Crowd Issues),” a song to inspire kids and teens to accept themselves without compromising who they are in order to fit in.
PAL thanks Ethical Music Entertainment and all supporting performers for such fun and educational Bullying Prevention Month events, and the Philadelphia 76ers for providing each youngster with a ticket to a Sixers home game for their commitment to positive programming.