Our partnerships with a variety of organizations help us to put our mission into action and make a tangible difference in the lives of our students. This week, 11 of our 15 Independence Mission Schools will be enriched with 25 different police officer-led after-school programs for our 5,000 students to participate in, thanks to our partnership with our local Philadelphia Police Department through the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation’s (IPCF) Police Youth Alliance.
The Police Youth Alliance, launched in 2015, is an initiative of the IPCF to bridge the gap between police officers and children in disadvantaged neighborhoods by working with neighborhood schools to create programs taught by police officers that have appeal to the students, such as art, music, chess and dance. In partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department and Independence Mission Schools, the Police Youth Alliance is creating opportunities, through education, for police officers and students to interact in a positive manner.
Over the last two years the program has seen much growth, and this year we have increased programs in our participating schools by almost 50% (last year we had 13 programs across 7 of our schools). This is a promising sign of the program’s success and acceptance among our students and their families. As we kick off the 2017 program, we are excited to offer our students 8 chess programs, 11 reading programs, 4 step programs, 1 music program and 1 drumline program (brand new this year)!
Our partnership with the Police Youth Alliance is unique to the city of Philadelphia and unique to IMS and comes at a time when our society is in much need of healing the relationship between our youth and the local police. I, along with the entire IMS staff and student body, am very grateful to the Philadelphia Police Department and to Deputy Commissioner Joseph P. Sullivan for their continued support of our students and our schools.
Working together with partners like the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation, we are helping to make a difference in our local communities – one student at a time.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support,
President, Independence Mission Schools
P.S. A few months ago of someone asked me what an Irish Pub, Step dance, the police and IMS students have in common, I would have probably said, “hopefully not much!” It looks like I would have been wrong. Watch this video and see for yourself.