Allentown, PA (February 11, 2016) Allentown School District middle school students will have the opportunity to participate in L.I.F.E. – an Explore-Post style mentoring after-school program designed to help prepare students for career readiness and young adulthood. The program, which targets middle school students with academic, attendance, and disruptive behavior issues is funded by the Allentown Police Department’s L.I.F.E. Program and will be led by APD Officers.
“The Allentown Police Department is committed to engaging all youth of the Allentown School District. As part of this, we were looking to bridge a gap between officers and middle school students, and as a result the L.I.F.E. program was created,” explains Chief Keith Morris, Allentown Police Department. “Through this program, our officers have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with our young citizens on a personal level and promote the importance of accountability in the life decisions they make. I would like to thank the Allentown School District for their receptiveness to this program, and for supporting a strong partnership with the Allentown Police Department.”
The program will be incorporated as an element of the enrichment component in the 21st Century After-School Program led by Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley.
Although the program has kicked off at South Mountain, all four ASD middle schools – Harrison-Morton,
Raub, Trexler, and South Mountain – will offer L.I.F.E. This voluntary program, which students can register
for at their respective school through 21st Century After-School Program, will meet bi-weekly (2 times/month) and will present instructional blocks on subjects such as: gang awareness; drug awareness; bullying and responsibilities. Additionally, students will participate in team building group activities that focus on bridging the gap and strengthening relationships between police and the community.
“This program is a great approach to reach our students in a positive way,” states Dr. Russell Mayo, Superintendent of the Allentown School District. “All middle school students are just beginning to rise to young adulthood which can come with a host of personal challenges, having programs like this can really make a positive impact on a young student’s future. We are grateful to APD for their continued commitment in reaching out to our students and to CIS for allowing this initiative to become part of their existing after-school programming.”
The South Mountain Middle School L.I.F.E. program kicked-off this week with Chief Morris who welcomed the students to the program and introduced the officers and program staff. Additional meetings will occur every other week through June 9.
L.I.F.E. Programs at the other schools will begin in early spring.
“The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support and empower them to stay in school and achieve in life,” explains Tim Mulligan, President of Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley. “We are proud to be a partner in the L.I.F.E. program that builds positive relations between youth and law enforcement and sets up our middle school students for success in and out of the classroom.”
Additional partners supporting this program include: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs; Allentown School District Foundation; Kiwanis; Lehigh Valley Foundation; Lehigh Valley Phantoms; and Community Partners 4 Kids.
About Allentown School District
ASD serves more than 16,000 students in a network of 22 early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools located throughout the City of Allentown, PA. The Allentown School District is the third largest urban school district out of 500 districts in the Commonwealth. A shared vision of the community, parents, guardians, staff and faculty focuses on “Empowering Students for Life,” providing ASD students with the skills and academics they need to realize their aspirations whether they be college, career or technical focus. ASD goals are aligned and compatible with the Pathways to Success Framework while providing a balanced education to all students. Allentown School District employs approximately 2,200 teachers, staff and administrators. The District, founded in 1866 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial throughout 2015-2016, serves students from 43 countries speaking 26 languages with nearly 90 percent of households qualifying as low income. ASD is committed to providing safe learning environments in which all students have equal access to education programs and resources.
Kimberly Golden Benner
Director of Communications
Allentown School District