PAL introduces Manhattan youngsters to art

Calendar illustrator, published poet and award-winning dancer are just a few titles that Manhattan youngsters have thanks to the Police Athletic League (PAL).

Recently, two Manhattan youngsters were chosen to have their artwork published in PAL’s 2011 Calendar. Third grader, Jazly Rodriguez, and fifth grader, Gabriel Jimenez, both from PAL’s Armory Center in Washington Heights were selected to have their drawings featured as two months in the calendar, depicting this year’s theme of “Saving Wildlife.”

PAL ARTS also provides the opportunity to teach children to believe in themselves, learn to accept other’s points of view and to work as part of a team. During PAL’s After School Programs at PAL’s Duncan Center in Hell’s Kitchen, PAL’s Harlem Center and PAL’s Armory in Washington Heights, children in first through eighth grades have the chance to explore their creativity through PAL ARTS, the arts programming that participants rotate through every week in addition to academic and recreation and wellness programming.

PAL ARTS focuses on children’s self-expression and enhances their awareness of cultural activities throughout New York City.

Academic lessons are interwoven into the curriculum through activities including drawing, painting, photography, music, dance, art, creative writing and drama. In first through fourth grades, PAL ARTS focuses on arts learning, the development of fine motor skills and talent exploration, while in fifth through eighth grades, children are encouraged to take part in performances and explore arts careers and professional New York City art opportunities. PAL also works in collaboration with performing and visual artists who teach classes and mentor students.

“As schools are continuing to cut arts programming, PAL ARTS works towards fulfilling an essential component in helping New York City’s young people on their developmental journey to becoming well-rounded, productive adults, full of hope and aspirations,” said PAL Executive Director Felix A. Urrutia Jr. “With New York City having such a wide selection of artistic opportunities, we are fortunate to provide children the chance to see the multitude of ways they can express themselves.”

PAL ARTS also provides boys and girls the opportunity to shine through a variety of arts contests. The young people’s creativity is rewarded with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as working with a professional poet to prepare for reciting their original poem at PAL’s Annual Poetry Jam, performing dance routines for hundreds of their peers and the local community and being able to display their work in an exhibit at a New York City gallery.

To learn more about PAL ARTS and PAL’s After School Programs that run through June, please contact the PAL Center in your neighborhood:

PAL’s Duncan Center

552 West 52nd Street

New York, N.Y. 10019

Phone: 212-265-7933

PAL’s Harlem Center

441 Manhattan Avenue

New York, N.Y. 10026

Phone: 212-665-8699

PAL’s Armory Center

216 Ft. Washington Avenue

New York, N.Y. 10032

Phone: 212-927-0306

Gabriel Jimenez’s drawing was chosen for the month of September.

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