Police Athletic League puts more emphasis on education

The Police Athletic League serves youths ages two to 19.

The Police Athletic League’s after-school programs always could be counted on for sports and arts instruction.

 But this year, PAL is putting an increased focus on education, particularly with respect to science, technology, engineering and math.

 The goal, according to PAL Executive Director Alana Sweeny, is to combat an achievement gap in low-income communities.

“They’re really learning hands on, and they’re not even realizing they’re learning,” Sweeny said.
 On a recent Friday at PAL’s Sotomayor Community Center in the Bronx, fourth and fifth graders were being taught how to reduce, reuse and recycle, while in another room second and third graders were learning about air by drawing pictures and performing experiments.

 Kids at the center also do homework, participate in fitness and arts activities, play games and look for robins, ladybugs and other nature.

 “You question the environment around you, and you start to wonder what causes things, why things are the way they are,” said Cesar Nina, one of the public school teachers hired by PAL this year with the help of city funding.

PAL opens up three new centers

The Police Athletic League opened up three new centers this year: the Sotomayor Community Center in the Bronx, Pathways Prep in Queens and New World Prep in Staten Island. There are now 20 PAL centers across all five boroughs.

What is PAL?

 In 1914, the then-commissioner of the NYPD, Arthur Woods, asked his police officers to do more than just fight crime: He wanted them to help some of the neediest New Yorkers in their precincts. Woods was particularly concerned about the lack of open space for New York City children to play.
 Today, the organization Woods founded is now known as the Police Athletic League, a nonprofit that helps set up safe recreation areas, after-school programs and mentoring.

 Once a month, Metro will feature updates about what the Police Athletic League is doing and how it is working to help make New York City streets healthier and safer.


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on his newest act,…

The rocker is releasing two new passion projects.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…