BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Summer is in full swing and the Buffalo Police Athletic (PAL) is making sure kids have a safe place to play.
The organization teamed up with Independent Health to hold PlayStreets, a free community fitness program where kids can participate in a variety of physical fitness activities and different sports at city-wide neighborhoods and parks.
“We began to travel around the city in a van and give out sporting equipment, play community kickball games, build up those police and community relations because last year was a tumultuous year and we want to make sure we offer a program that’s unique,” said Nekia Kemp, executive director of PAL.
The goal is to give kids one-on-one time with officers in the neighborhood helping build relationships that will last beyond the program and providing them with a fun way to socialize and stay fit.
“There are so many reasons why kids should be involved in physical activities and sports at a young age and the first one is the healthy habits that they’re going to start building. Preventing and delaying the onset of those chronic conditions like diabetes, mental health illness, heart disease, and so many others,” said Lauren Christman, corporate wellness specialist at Independent Health.
Summer is in full swing and @PalBuffalo is making sure kids have a safe place to play! 👮🏾♂️How they’re teaming up with @IH_news to keep kids active and how you can join in on the fun on @news4buffalo .⛹🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/K3S3dwKrAx— Kelly Khatib (@KellyKhatibtv) August 13, 2021
PAL says they expect to serve around 750 kids from K-12 this summer in a variety of physical fitness activities and different sports like tennis, flag football, relay races, and Zumba. Each participant receives their own sporting equipment kit, along with snacks, beverages, and a T-shirt.
PlayStreets runs August 17, 18 & 19 at Hillery Park/Mineral Springs Road from 4:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. For more information on future events, visit BuffaloPal.com.
Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.