PAL is a wonderful city resource for families because it offers a number of affordable recreational and educational programs for kids ages five to 17, including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, judo, soccer, and several outreach programs. The program's mission is to instill in youngsters positive values and to provide them with wholesome alternatives to drugs, gangs, violence, and crime. More than 7,000 kids are actively involved in PAL programs in a given year. A distinctive feature of the program is that many are coached by police officers. The idea is to teach kids the fundamentals of a sport, "while instilling in them a respect for authority and respect in themselves." Contact PAL if you're interested in either joining or forming a team. You'll be given a place on a team, or one on a play schedule, depending on your situation. Note: Judo lessons are taught at the Mission Rec Center (745 Treat Street/Auditorium, between 20th and 21st Streets). Call 415.215.7437.