On January 21, President Mike Kukitz, Tracy Davis, Enos Martin and Tom Harp met with representatives of the Allentown Police Department to discuss ways that our club could partner with their new L.I.F.E. (Living with Integrity for Future Excellence) program.
We met with Sergeant Glenn Granitz, and Officers Mike Geake and Jim Stanko. Sgt. Granitz is a detective working in the APD’s Youth Division. He is a former Key Club member, and the grandson of Carla Munsch, a former member of the Kiwanis Club of Allentown. Because of his background with Kiwanis, Sgt. Granitz thought of our service organization as a potential partner with some of their youth programs.
Officer Geake is the School Resource Officer assigned to Raub Middle School. Officer Stanko is a facilitator in the Youth Division. They have been involved in the Police Athletic League (PAL) and the 2-week Youth Police Academy program. The Academy is for 6th-grade students, and last year 18 kids graduated. L.I.F.E. is a reward-based program that is designed to help middle school students build positive relationships with community leaders, to instill confidence and to teach accountability. Sgt. Granitz has described it to be like an Explorer Post where students learn positive behaviors and problem-solving skills.
An intern from LCCC is assisting the APD in developing curriculum for the program. Several components of existing programs offered by the APD, i.e. Trauma Sensitivity Training can be incorporated in the L.I.F.E. program. Our club could assist with the program through volunteering at L.I.F.E. events, and to provide resources to purchase trophies, t-shirts, gift certificates, and other incentives for program participants. This program is already involved with the Community Schools initiative at Raub Middle School.
We are very excited about this opportunity for our club!