TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KSHV) — The 2021 PRIDE Academy in Texarkana has been canceled due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department, the PRIDE Academy will not take place this year because of the increase in coronavirus cases in the area and they don’t want to put any children at risk of getting sick.

TAPD issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

With a heavy heart, we must officially announce that due to exceptional circumstances, we are unable to present the PRIDE ACADEMY for 2021. We must consider the health and safety of our kiddos above all else. As cases continue to rise with more and more new cases being children, we cannot in good conscience place any child in danger or risk them getting sick.

We know things are tough right now and our kids are missing so much. For TAPD, our officers, the presenters, and all the volunteers, we are very disappointed we will not have the opportunity to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary in PRIDE style. Still, we know that this will NOT last forever. We will get back to having PRIDE Academy and make it better than ever.

We are confident in our past PRIDE graduates and know they’ll persevere and act as mentors to students to whom we could not provide the PRIDE experience.

We are grateful to the Texarkana Arkansas School District, our Presenters, Sponsors, Youth to Leadership Group, and Police Officers who continuously provide their unwavering support to ensure our program is successful. Thank you to our community who loves our children and sees their amazing potential and works diligently to ensure their success.