Check out this awesome video by our friends at the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Public Safety.
On President’s Day, 200 PAL kids and teens spent the day at Penn’s historic Palestra, playing basketball and enjoying time with each other and their mentors from the Philadelphia Police Department. The event kicked off PAL’s Fitz Dixon Citywide Basketball Program.
PAL thanks long-time dedicated PAL Board member Maureen Rush from Penn’s Division of Public Safety, and Penn Athletics for helping to keep kids safe, active, and having fun.
View more photos from PAL Day at Penn’s Palestra here!
The Philadelphia 76ers took on the league-leading Golden State Warriors on February 9, and PAL was on hand and well represented for what turned out to be a thrilling PAL Night at the 76ers. Nearly 150 sponsors, supporters, Commissioner’s Club Members and friends of PAL, along with 250 PAL kids, enjoyed the game and participated in the 29th annual event.
The event kicked off with sponsors from Keller Williams and SugarHouse Casino presenting generous gifts in support of PAL’s mission of “Cops Helping Kids” to Deputy Police Commissioner Bethel, PAL Commanding Officer Lt. William Eddis, PAL Board Treasurer Bernie Prazenica, and PAL Executive Director Ted Qualli. Immediately following the ceremony, dozens of excited PAL kids lined the tunnel and greeted the Sixers’ players with high fives as they stormed out onto the court.
PAL’s sponsors, Commissioner’s Club Members, Police Brass and special guests, celebrated the occasion from a suite where they enjoyed mingling and taking in the game.
The evening was capped with a special honor for one very important member of the PAL team. Police Officer Sharon Wells was presented with the Sixers’ Heroes Among Us Award by 76ers legend World B. Free. Officer Wells is in her 25th year of service with the Philadelphia Police Department and is entering her 17th year of being assigned to the PAL Unit. Officer Wells embodies PAL’s mission of “Cops Helping Kids” in her role overseeing the Harrowgate PAL Center. Thanks to PAL officers, like her, girls and boys develop self-esteem as they are mentored to success in academics, athletics, and in life.
PAL thanks the 76ers, all sponsors, friends and guests who made this a wonderful experience for all in attendance.
Slam Dunk! PAL Reading Program an Outstanding Success
Nearly 100 kids and teens from across the City spent weeks discovering new books and revisiting old favorites this winter. To promote literacy and leisure reading outside of school, PAL rewarded participants with a celebration on January 22nd.
To kick off the program, PAL centers received new books to add to their libraries. Each participant was required to read four books, though many avid readers far exceeded that goal. One all-star reader, Ashiyah from Tacony PAL completed 30 books during the six-week program. Due to their literary achievements, the young bookworms were treated to a fun night at a Temple University Men’s Basketball game.
Attendees had dinner with Temple Football players, cheerleaders, dancers and Hooter T. Owl while listening to inspirational messages from PAL Education Committee Chair Athole G. Jacobi, M. D., who encouraged the children to make time for leisure reading every day. Following the reception, PAL youth and officers enjoyed free admission to watch Temple defeat University of South Florida 73 to 48.
PAL thanks Athole G. Jacobi, M. D. for continuing to encourage youngsters’ success through literacy and education.
PAL and William Penn Charter Team Up for Service
On January 19th, PAL kids and teens, officers, and staff members joined approximately 150 William Penn Charter students and their families for a beneficial service experience in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. For weeks leading up to the event, the Penn Charter community collected new school supplies, books, and sports equipment to donate to PAL Homework Clubs and athletic programs.
All volunteers met at Penn Charter for an inspirational lesson about Dr. King and the Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963. The empowering discussion inspired volunteers to work hard for the rest of the day.
PAL members and officers made 250 bagged lunches that were given to homeless men at Whosoever Gospel Mission. They also painted a Philadelphia public school with fourth and fifth graders from Penn Charter. Other students sorted and packed the donated items, stuffed bags for PAL’s summer STEM-based camp, and made basketball and baseball keychains as giveaways for PAL’s citywide leagues. PAL children will directly benefit from everyone’s hard work on this special day.
PAL thanks all volunteers for working to make our Philadelphia community a better place.
Each year is a long and exciting one at PAL – one that spans from winter educational tournaments, prom dress boutiques, and PAL Day at City Hall to citywide basketball, soccer, and baseball leagues and more. On any given day, there’s always something for kids to enjoy in their neighborhood PAL centers. Few things are more special to them though than visits from caring PAL Adopt-a-Center partners and sponsors who are invested in their well-being and future.
Throughout the holiday season, children from around the City who actively participate in PAL are rewarded with an opportunity spend time with friends, officers, and supporters at the annual holiday parties, which are hosted by PAL’s Adopt-a-Center Partners.
These special parties allow kids to interact with the generous supporters and volunteers who make PAL programming possible. During the events kids enjoy arts and crafts, pizza, a visit from Santa, and a brand new gift.
PAL thanks Adopt-a-Center partners Anne and Andrew Abel, American Airlines, Comcast-Spectacor, Dominic and Michele Frederico and Family, GEICO, The Lincoln Financial Foundation, Harvey and Sylvia Nisenbaum, Phillies Charities, Inc., PwC, The TD Charitable Foundation, and Wawa, and all supporting partners for another joyous holiday season and their continued support and dedication to PAL’s mission of “Cops Helping Kids.”
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.