Every Kid Needs a P.A.L.29 November 2014 Written by By Ryan Frerking
Published in December 2014 Articles
Close your eyes, clear your mind, and think back to your childhood. Now picture this, it is a hot, sunny summer day.
Your friends have gone on vacation, enrolled in summer camps, and are nowhere in sight but that does not stop you. You get on your classic red and white Schwinn ten speed and head to your local boys and girls club. You feel so welcomed and don’t worry about costs. They have all those cool recreational games and outings you won’t want to miss. This is the image in mind at your local Brentwood Police Department’s Police Activities League for teenagers of different grades based on the program’s activity.
Brentwood Police Activities League is alocal branch of a national non-profit organization. They were started in 1998 by a grant through the John Muir Foundation. The program was established to create a triangular relationship between youth, police, and the community and to keep youth out of street gangs, paraphernalia, and other troubles. In 2006, Brentwood P.A.L. was recognized as a part of the “After the Bell” nutrition campaign. The program has set up many things like a free after school drop in center, karate, day trips, community events, and volunteer opportunities that all benefit the kids.
Open since early 2013, the Brentwood P.A.L. drop in center has both fun and structure. Kids can get their homework done in a designated area while quietness is enforced to ensure focus. After which they can enjoy video games on many consoles including PS3, PS2, and Xbox or play games like foosball and enjoy a movie in the living room area. These things can be found on the back side room of Edna Hill Middle School’s gym on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3-5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1-5 p.m. Please note this program is only for grades 6-9.
Aside from that, Brentwood Police Activities league offers free karate lessons with a one-time charge of $30 for the uniform. The program is partnered with Twin Tigers Academy and is ran by Bear Carrillo. They meet various days that are different each week. It is offered for grades 6-12. You can follow them on Facebook, by searching Twin Tigers Academy.
Also, P.A.L. does day trips that are free to the kids grades 6-12. The places are based on where the kids what to go and what their interests are. In the past they have gone to Leland High Snow Play in Strawberry, CA and toured Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay. Personal expenses like souvenirs are not covered, but things like lunch and transportation are. All these programs cannot function ¿ without help from the community. P.A.L. does many fundraisers for people to attend. It depends on what you’re looking for. For family fun, they have a yearly celebration at Harvest Park Bowl on super bowl Sunday including a chili and dessert cook off. Looking for adults only? Then, come to their Blues in the Barn Night at Farmer’s Daughter Fruit Stand. There’s a fresh, slow cooked BBQ dinner and music from some great local bands. You must be 21 to attend. If those don’t satisfy you, please feel free to partner with Brentwood P.A.L. for an event.
Speaking of volunteering, the Police Activities League has many ways you can get involved. The center needs volunteers to come for a couple hours a day. It could make a huge difference in a child’s life. You have to go through a routine background check and fingerprint scan by Brentwood Police Department. Own or know of a local business? P.A.L. always appreciates sponsors.