The announcement of the expansion of the Police Athletic League’s (PAL) Play Street program to 10 developments of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) took place today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with PAL Board Chairman Robert M. Morgenthau, NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea, New York City’s Special Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan, PAL Executive Director Alana Sweeny, PAL Board Member and CEO of Gristedes Foods John A. Catsimatidis and Keith Banks, PAL Board Member and President of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. The Play Street program offers prevention education, sports, games, and cultural arts activities for New York City youth. Established in 1914, the PAL Play Streets program has been closing off streets and other public areas throughout New York City to provide youth with safe, supervised, fun-filled places where they can play and learn during the summer months. The ceremony marks the celebration of this Play Streets, which enables hundreds of NYCHA youth to enjoy their summers, in addition to the thousands of boys and girls already enjoying PAL Play Streets throughout the five boroughs.
“Recreational and educational programs such as the PAL Play Street provide a safe haven for our youth and afford them invaluable life skills,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “Partnerships such as these enable us to prepare and support our youth, who are not only our most precious resource but our future.”
“Thanks to our PAL supporters and NYCHA, even more children who are growing up in some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods will have a safe place to play this summer and a positive alternative to life on the streets,” said PAL Board Chairman Robert M. Morgenthau. “PAL’s presence in these communities makes a real difference. We offer our expertise in youth development to children who do not have a wide range of options by giving young people a way to have productive and fun-filled summer experiences. PAL is grateful to NYCHA for the opportunity to open these ten new Play Streets and give hundreds of more children a chance to learn, thrive and grow.”
Renewed financial support for the Play Street at Douglass Houses is derived from narcotics trafficking proceeds obtained during criminal prosecutions by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. By supporting PAL, the prosecutors’ offices join in a cooperative effort to maintain the gains achieved when drug organizations are removed from a community, and to improve relationships between young people and law enforcement.
“My office and our partners are renewing support of the new Play Street at Douglass Houses in the hopes of making a lasting, positive impact on children in the community,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. “We are thankful to the Police Athletic League for their leadership in improving the lives of New York City’s children, by providing safe places to enjoy fun, recreational activities.”
Young people ages six to 16 are invited to participate in the PAL Play Streets, where they can join in a range of games, sports and other fun activities, such as table games, cultural arts and basketball tournaments. The program includes a prevention education component designed to reduce risk-taking behaviors and enhance life skills. The Play Street sites open to youth between the ages of six and 16 will operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 23, 2013.
PAL Play Street Sites in NYCHA developments:
Lehman Village (80 East 110th St. - Between Madison & Park Avenues) Basketball Court
Campos Houses (611 East 13th St. - Between Avenue B & C)
Douglass Houses (880 Columbus Ave., Near 102nd St.)
Grant Houses (1315 Amsterdam Ave.)
Red Hook East Houses (Lorraine St. - Between Hicks & Henry) Near Building 9&10
Whitman Houses (151 Elliot Walk) off of Myrtle Ave.
Marcy Houses (602 –606 Park Ave.) near Playground
Hammel Houses (85-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) btwn 84th & 86th Streets
Mariners Harbor Houses (20 Roxbury & 40 Roxbury St.) Basketball Court
Monroe Houses (1780 Story Ave.) Playground located behind building