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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: August 16, 2018

Mayor Brown Hosts Backpack Giveaway Event For PAL and Say YES Buffalo Summer Camp Grads

pal logo blue on white backing

Buffalo, N.Y. - Mayor Byron W. Brown hosted a celebration for more than 200 Buffalo Public Schools students who completed 6-weeks of Educational Summer Camp that was operated by the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. (PAL) in partnership with SAY YES to Education-Buffalo, The Buffalo Public Schools, and The City of Buffalo.


National Grid and The Teacher’s Desk served as sponsors of the backpack giveaway event, donatIng new backpacks filled with age-appropriate school supplies for the 200 boys and girls entering grades 1-6 who attended PAL Educational Summer Camp.


“Congratulations to all of the students who have spent the past six weeks improving their academic skills while also having a great time.  To make sure they are ready to start the 2018-19 school year, each student has received a new backpack from National Grid and The Teacher’s Desk filled with all of the back-to-school supplies they need to begin a successful school year,” Mayor Brown said.


PAL Educational Summer Camp took place this summer at Hennepin Community Center, Machnica Community Center, Martha Mitchell Community Center, and the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavillion.


“We are grateful for the generosity of Sponsors who supported PAL Educational Summer Camp, in addition to National Grid and The Teacher’s Desk for donating backpacks and supplies that will help PAL youth feel well prepared when they return to school.  Sponsors and donors who supported PAL Educational Summer Camp helped our organization provide every single student with breakfast and lunch each day while they received a well-rounded summer camp experience,” said PAL Executive Director Nekia Kemp.


“National Grid staff and I enjoy being part of this great event, where dozen of smiling kids receive new backpacks in time for the new school year,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa. “We’re proud to be involved in such an initiative, and wish all students a safe and successful school year.”


"We are thrilled once again to partner with National Grid giving 200 PAL Summer Camp attendees a backpack filled with school supplies as they wrap up camp and get "A Good Start" for their academic year,” said John Mika, Director, The Teacher's Desk.


Mayor Brown 6-week camp program included a summer reading curriculum that encourage each student to participate in the 17th Annual Mayor’s Reading Rules! Summer Reading Challenge and attain the goal of becoming Reading Champions.


“I look forward to seeing many of these student at our fantastic 17th Annual Reading Rules! Celebration on Saturday, August 25th at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.  Thank you to Say Yes and PAL for making this educational summer camp program possible and promoting year-round learning” Mayor Brown said.


The City of Buffalo has committed more than $2.3 million to ‘Say Yes,’ since its inception.  In 2015, the Buffalo Public Schools, City of Buffalo and ‘Say Yes Buffalo’ signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding that commits them to organizing and providing free summer programming to students entering Grades 1-6 through 2021.


The camps offer academic components to reinforce school-year lessons along with an enrichment component that expands students’ exposure to leadership, arts, culture and other activities.


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