PAL Day at the Palestra
The University of Pennsylvania and the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (Philly PAL) hosted the annual PAL Day at the Palestra on Monday, February 16, 2015. This is a one day event held at Penn’s historic Palestra, which provided 200 children wholesome fitness-based activities under the guidance of their coaches and mentors, the PAL Police Unit. The event was held on Presidents’ Day, a day on which children have off from school and are in need of constructive programs to occupy their out-of-school time and keep them safe and off the streets.
As an extension of PAL’s Fitz Dixon Basketball Program, PAL Day at the Palestra effectively helped PAL in broadening its reach beyond the program to serve a larger number of children, for more time, and have a larger impact on Philadelphia’s at-risk youth. According to studies by The Bridgespan Group, PAL serves children in 60% of the City’s ten poorest zip codes, and has five times the amount of youth-development centers in the City’s poorest census tracts in comparison to other leading children’s non-profits. Through the PAL Day at the Palestra event, PAL, The University of Pennsylvania Division of Public Safety and Penn Athletics, provided PAL’s inner-city youth constituency with a breathtaking day of basketball fun, fitness and enjoyable time spent with friends and peers. Activities included basketball skills stations led by police officers within the PAL unit, a commemorative green screen photo booth, basketball quizzo and more.
The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) helps girls and boys develop self-esteem and ambition through a broad array of educational, athletic and cultural activities in a safe and fun environment. Established in 1947, PAL is a citywide network of youth development centers serving thousands of youngsters, ages 6-18. All programs and activities are free and supervised by on-duty Philadelphia Police Officers specially trained in youth development. PAL is “Cops Helping Kids” – a non-profit organization with generous support from the business community, foundations and individuals.