Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Police Athletic League (PAL) hosted a celebration for 100 Buffalo youngsters who are graduating from PAL’s summer education camps. The students, who are in Grades K through 12, each received new backpacks filled with age-appropriate, back-to-school supplies, which were donated by National Grid and The Teacher’s Desk.
“Congratulations to all of these students who have spent the last six weeks maintaining their education skills, while also having a great time. To make sure they are ready to start the 2021-22 school year, all of them received new backpacks, filled with the back-to-school supplies they need to begin a successful year of learning,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said.
The students either attended PAL-run camps for K-6 graders held at the Martha Mitchell Community Center and the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion, or the PAL Youth Opportunity Connect Program for students entering grades 7-12, which took place at the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion, online via ZOOM, and at various field trip locations.
“Buffalo PAL is once again proud to offer youth a full day of camp every summer that focuses on an academic curriculum, in addition to offering a sampling of sports and field trips. These youth had the opportunity to learn new sports and work on improving their literacy proficiency skills,” said PAL Executive Director Nekia Kemp. “This program also provided our campers with a chance to make new friends and have fun in stimulating learning environments with certified teachers and coaches. After spending most of the last school year in remote learning, our students really enjoyed in-person learning and engaging with their peers.”
PAL partners with Say Yes Buffalo and Buffalo Public Schools to offer the education-based summer camps.
“In what’s become somewhat of an annual summer tradition in Buffalo, National Grid is once again joining The Teacher’s Desk to provide backpacks to dozens of kids, just in time for the new school year,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa. “We always look forward to taking part in this initiative, which we’ve proudly supported since 2017, and wish all students a safe and successful school year.”
“The Teacher’s Desk thanks National Grid for supporting us and the children of PAL by providing these backpacks filled with much-needed school supplies. We always say ‘if you have a pencil you have a chance’ but, if you have a Panchopack that chance is multiplied by 100,” said John Mika, Executive Director of The Teacher’s Desk
Mayor Brown noted that the 6-week camps included reading curriculum to help participants in the 20th Annual Mayor’s Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge attain their goals of becoming Reading Champions.
Mayor Brown today expressed his support for the just-launched Crime Stoppers WNY billboard campaign that features the names and photos of some of Buffalo’s homicide victims.
“We don’t want anyone to be forgotten,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “My hope is that these powerful billboards, featuring the names and photos of some of Buffalo’s homicide victims whose murders have yet to be solved, will encourage the public to reach out anonymously and provide information to Crime Stoppers WNY. In Buffalo, we’ve seen in recent weeks that when the community and police work together, we solve homicide cases and, as importantly, we bring a measure of peace and justice to those family members affected by the violence.”
The 10 homicide billboards will be up through the end of September, featuring the photos of eight different homicide victims each month. Crime Stoppers WNY hopes that by putting a face on the murder statistics the public will be prompted to come forward with information to help bring their killers to justice.
The billboard campaign results from partnerships with the Buffalo Police Department, Erie County, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. Their combined contributions to this effort have surpassed $100,000.
The $80,000 earmarked over a three-year period by Erie County will help raise the reward money for tips to:
Anyone with information on a crime can report it on the Buffalo Tips app, accessible at the Apple App Store or on Google Play, or call 716-867-6161. ALL TIPS WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS. For more information, visit crimestopperswny.org.
The Buffalo Police Department’s D-District is holding a Community Day today, Thursday, August 18, from 4 p.m. to 6:30p.m. at the Elmwood Village Charter School, 665 Hertel Avenue.
The event will have activities for residents of all ages, including a DJ, free hot dogs and prizes. D-District and Buffalo Community Policing officers, will be joined by several west side organizations to offer information on employment and training opportunities, and health and housing assistance.
The Buffalo Police Athletic League will also be conducting a bike helmet giveaway as part of the event.