Police Activities League Celebrating 25 Years of Service in Stanislaus County

For Immediate Release:  July 28, 2017

Contacts:        Vicki Bauman, Prevention Programs Director III, (209) 238-1364
                         Bret Silveira, PAL Deputy Director, 480-0632
Judy Boring, Communications Coordinator, 238-1709
                         Cynthia Fenech, Communications Coordinator, 238-1704

The Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) is pleased to partner with the Police Activity League (PAL) to celebrate 25 years of services in Stanislaus County.  The celebration is slated for Friday, August 4 at 6:00 p.m. at the Martin Petersen Event Center, (720 12th Street, Modesto).  During the evening, awards will be presented to the founders of the Stanislaus County PAL program.

According to Deputy Director Bret Silveira, the program began in 1992 thanks, in part, to the collaboration of retired Stanislaus County Sheriff Les Weidman and retired Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools Martin G. Petersen.  Both wanted to provide a safe place for children to go hang out.  “Weidman assigned Deputy Ron Hand the task of seeing what programs were available.  Deputy Hand was at a conference and learned about the PAL program in Berkeley, CA and the rest is history,” said Silveira.

With one boxing program in the cafeteria at Mae Hensley Jr. High School, PAL was off and running. The non-profit organization continued to grow and soon other organizations partnered with PAL, including the Housing Authority of Stanislaus County, who provided access to their site locations across the county after school and during the summer months.  Other partners included the county parks, outdoor parks and recreation programs, and several school districts.  In 2000, PAL partnered with Modesto City Schools and Salida Union School District to implement and develop an After School 21st Century Community Learning Center Program at Bret Harte Elementary School in Modesto and at Salida Middle School in Salida.

“To date this program has become one of the many successful after school programs in Stanislaus County,” said Vicki Bauman, Prevention Programs Director III.  “SCOE’s partnership with Police Activities League through Stanislaus County Sheriff’s department has been invaluable to our community. PAL provides excellent after school programs to many of our districts in Stanislaus County. We know that between the hours of 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. students and families need safe, enriching environments for their children to learn and grow.  PAL provides this for students in Stanislaus County.”

Today there are 53 PAL programs operating in Stanislaus County.  These programs include after school programs, community center programs, outdoor recreation programs, free lunch programs and 9 youth sports leagues serving 8,000 – 10,000 children (ages 5 -18) per month.   

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