FROM THE DESK OF JOE GIBBONS (Ryan Outreach Board President) -- May 19th / Reporting after the 2nd of 8 scheduled clinic Mondays.
The Police Officers of the First Precinct, the Police Athletic League, some St John the Baptist DHS coaches, the TOB parks team, Councilman and Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, the Outreach Center, and a few local Wyandanch parents are using focused, community-building actions to help bridge the gap between local law enforcement and Wyandanch youth.
It's gratifying to see 75+ children and their parents come to Wyandanch Park in their blue PAL tee shirts ready to work on developmental soccer skills, and then play some games. In the 2nd week, parents were seen walking the field perimeter for exercise and socializing in the bleachers.
It's also great to see our local Police Officers running this clinic, and getting to know the names of these 3rd to 8th grade "futbol" players. We saw a lot of handshakes and smiles out on the field.
By this second session, children were getting to know Officer Liz, Officer Jeff, Officer Christine, and Officer Patricia by name. Officer Jeff walks the field and makes sure everyone is hydrated and interacting positively with the players, especially with encouraging words like "great job, or great kick" "way to be!" and so on.
Officer Liz, Officer Patricia, and Officer Christine welcome every child and parent that come through the gate and make sure they have a shirt and are ready to play. Some children need sneakers and Officer Patricia has a few new pairs to give out. We expect to have 100 children at our next clinic.