The Kansas City Police Athletic League will celebrate the academic success of more than 100 inner-city children through their new partnership with the Upper Room program at a graduation ceremony Friday.
The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. August 5 at the Police Athletic League (PAL) Center at 1801 White. Students going into first through eighth grades will be honored for their intensive work to raise their reading levels over the summer.
This is the first year PAL has partnered with the Upper Room, whose eight-week Summer Academic Camp meets at 26 other locations throughout urban Kansas City.
“We wanted them here for the kids in the PAL community,” said Sergeant Martin Cobbinah, a supervisor of KCPD’s PAL program.
A PAL Board member suggested bringing the Upper Room to PAL, and the idea caught on quickly. They decided to originally cap registration at 100 children, but interest was so great that a total of 107 registered for the program.
The Summer Academic Camp runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday. Students spend the first part of their days working with certified teachers and volunteer tutors on reading and some math. After a provided lunch, children engage in a variety of fun and cultural activities. Most children in the Upper Room Summer Academic Camp increase their reading skills by one to two grade levels, Sergeant Cobbinah said.
Graduates who have missed fewer than two days of the program and averaged an 85 percent or higher score on their reading exams receive a monetary reward.
The program is funded by the Upper Room, which is a non-profit organization providing high-quality out-of-school education programs to low-income families in the urban areas of Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.