Philadelphia children bond with police officers at annual C.H.E.E.R.S. program

WEST PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- It is rather unorthodox to see children smiling on the back of a police motorcycle with sirens blaring. Yet, that was the scene at Christian Stronghold Baptist Church this morning.

The bonding activity between Philadelphia's youth and its police department was just one of many included within the C.H.E.E.R.S. program. Now in its 13th year, the camp seeks to provide Community Health Enrichment Empowerment Resource Services to youth in high-crime areas of the city.

Over 300 children ages 8 through 17 will come through the program every Saturday until April 11, 2020. Each week, kids can eat and play for free at one of nine areas. The program will culminate with a large celebration that brings each volunteer and organization together.

Children are exposed to potential career opportunities from community leaders who hold those titles themselves. For example, one police officer, Arnold Mitchell, is also a Disc Jockey. He and several others donated their time to introduce kids to the entertainment industry. The overall mission is to improve self-confidence, curate an interest in positive activities, and create better relationships with law enforcement.

In addition to the C.H.E.E.R.S. program, the 16th District Police also hosts free SAT prep on select days until March 13, 2020.

If you missed out on the fun this morning, there are still five more fun-filled Saturdays to experience with the Philadelphia Police Department. To learn more about how to register, visit their website.

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