For over sixty years, the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. (PAL) has served as a not-for-profit organization that provides athletic, educational, and cultural programming to children and teenagers from the City of Buffalo and neighboring communities. PAL youth enrichment programming takes place during the school year and summer at safe recreation facilities with nurturing mentors in partnership with local law enforcement. The mission of PAL is to help improve the quality of life and social/emotional wellbeing of youth so they grow up to become goal-oriented, responsible adults.
PAL youth enrichment programming includes Literacy, STEM, Culinary Arts, Educational Summer Camp, Field Trips, and Outdoor Camping. PAL Sports Clinics and Leagues include Boxing, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Golf, Swimming, Lifeguard Certification, Skiing, and Flag Football with the Buffalo Bills. PAL operates these seasonal programs at city-wide Community Centers, the Buffalo Public Schools, and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks.
In additional to providing youth with academic, fitness, health, and wellness activities, PAL provides Bicycle Safety seminars and Free Bike Helmet giveaways at over thirty locations every May – September. Thousands of free bike helmets and bicycle safety brochures are distributed to children, teenagers, and adults between these months. PAL Bicycle Safety seminars also teach individuals how to properly fit and wear their bicycle helmets. The Variety Club of Buffalo proudly supports PAL’s efforts by donating helmets at the annual Variety Ride. Variety Club also distributes helmets at other bike riding events and races throughout the Summer.
Mayor Byron W. Brown has been very supportive of the relationship between PAL, the Buffalo Police, the Department of Community Services, and Recreational Programming, and he has played an important role in helping the City of Buffalo’s youth combat summer learning loss. Every summer, Mayor Brown hosts Reading Rules! The Kid’s Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages students in grades K-12 to read seven books and write seven book summaries between June – August. Participants who complete the challenge are invited to Mayor Brown’s Awards Ceremony at the end of August. Every Champion Reader receives a Certificate of Achievement along with free books, book bags, passes to the City of Buffalo’s cultural institutions, a souvenir T-Shirt, and a chance to win educational prizes.