To advertise social and emotional well being through the pandemic, Jersey Metropolis resident Alika Muhammad held a kids’s occasion “Dwell, Be taught & Develop” on Could 27 at Gateway Park. All native kids from round Gateway Park and quite a few members of native legislation enforcement had been invited to come back collectively for athletics, crafts and conversations aiming to foster relationships, construct confidence and belief, and to rejoice persevering in a worldwide well being disaster.
Roughly 180 kids and their households got here out to fulfill the officers to train and play collectively, together with public college college students residing in Booker T Washington flats and college students of close by Beloved Constitution College. Children and officers stretched, performed basketball and soccer, noticed emergency service autos work, and fingers had been painted since faces had been coated by masks. Snacks had been additionally served through the day.
“We don’t know if COVID is over but, so we thought ‘what might we do exterior for households and children?,’” mentioned Muhammad. “Psychological well being is a giant deal proper now. It’s okay for folks to say ‘I’m struggling right here’ and COVID has allowed this to occur.”
Muhammad helps lead the Robateau Legacy venture, a grassroots venture that honors the reminiscence of JCPD Lt. Christopher Robateau, who died all of the sudden in a tragic accident on Jan. 5, 2018. The venture began as a FB page dedicated to Lt. Robateau to spotlight the bridge constructing efforts between the neighborhood and legislation enforcement in Jersey Metropolis and past.
“Robateau was all about neighborhood, schooling, and togetherness,” mentioned Muhammad. “I keep in mind he would have the officers stroll from seventh Avenue to the their particular posts simply so they may communicate to the neighbors in the neighborhood.”
The loss was felt not solely by his household, colleagues and pals, but in addition by the neighborhood he served and cared for, mentioned Muhammad, who knew Robateau effectively, and felt that one thing “wanted to be accomplished” to honor his reminiscence, honoring the reminiscence of excellent individuals who encourage good works by means of those that keep in mind them.
The Robateau Legacy hopes to undertake Gateway Park as “Robateau Park” and has utilized for enchancment grants and hopes to carry seasonal kids’s occasions there below the “Robateau Legacy” banner.
“After I would communicate to, shall we say Mrs. George on the Booker T flats, she was devastated when she heard the information about Lt. Robateau and mentioned ‘he would all the time look out for my son.’ That kind of enter from varied communities was one of many large driving factors behind altering the identify of Gateway Park,” says Muhammad.
Sponsors for the occasion embrace the Jersey Metropolis Parks Coalition, Disaster Coach Tony Perkins and the “OKNOW” venture, JCPD Captain Benjamin Dailey and East District Commander Iris Cruz, Chief Conni Spellman and the JCFD Gong Membership, Sammy Ocasio and the DPW.