Temple University holds community appreciation night for students and North Philly families

The sound of music, laughter and kids playing filled Temple's Aramark Student Training and Recreation Complex. It's all for community appreciation night for the beautiful children of North Philadelphia and their parents.

"We have to come together as a village and support each other and celebrate our kids," said Monica Hankins-Padilla. She’s the director of external affairs for Temple's Department of Public Safety.

"With all the things that's happening in the city, especially because it is our young people, unfortunately, who have fallen victim to murder and injuries, due to guns, that there is a positive place that we can be in," she said. The event also unites these young people with Temple University students.

"What's going on in the city is kind of crazy, but I think being around us will inspire them to push themselves and see the possibilities for their future," said Temple junior Nia Knights.

There was free food and sweet snacks. One pretty princess named Mia had fun crashing a game of Connect Four played by students. Former Philadelphia 76er and Temple alum Marc Jackson came for a meet and greet. A highlight for Sixers fans.

"I feel like it's important to give back to the community, especially a community like Philadelphia because a lot of people from here don’t really have much," said Temple freshman James Matthews.

Also, members of the Urban Bike Team, including Symeer Zigler and Quadir Staton, were presented bikes they built during the program and used on a bike ride from Philly to Atlantic City over the summer. Friday night, they got to take them home.

"I think kids should get involved in this to get help or, like, get to a better path in life," said Zigler.

"I enjoyed the opportunities we got and the things we were offered and given," said Staton.

The community also got a free viewing of Adam Sandler’s movie "Hustle."