BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dozens of kids from Buffalo have spent nearly every Thursday this summer learning to fish from Pastor Kenneth Simmons, the Director of Recreational Services for the City of Buffalo, and his son. Pastor Simmons said the children think they're simply fishing, but it's much more than that.
"More is memories. Memories. New friendships. New experiences. Laughter, joy, and happiness. Right here it takes their mind off the police sirens, the fire engines, the ambulances," Pastor Simmons said, "A lot of children actually get the chance to come outside, breath some fresh air and do something these kids have never done before."
Thursday was 14-year-old Jacquetta Brown's first time fishing.
"It's relaxing honestly. I would have never thought I'd go fishing because I thought it was gross. It's a really relaxing thing to do," Brown said.
The fishing trip also focuses on strengthening the relationship between kids and police.
"This is the neighborhood that they patrol. They're out here interacting with the youth in the community. I think it's very important that police get to know the kids because all of our kids are not gang-bangers. They're not drug dealers. They're not trying to break in and rob somebody's house. Our Buffalo Police Officers can see we have good kids in the neighborhood. Our children can see that there are good police," Pastor Simmons said.
Pastor Simmons said the fishing trips are possible because donations from the City of Buffalo and the Police Athletic League.