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ERIC Number: ED497587
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Partners in Success for Young Adolescents: The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and National Middle School Association
Chan, Janice
National Middle School Association (NJ3), Middle Ground v11 n1 p26-27 Aug 2007
Middle school students are at a critical point in their lives. One way or another they are learning the decision-making and coping skills that they will use as adults. To be successful they need guidance from caring teachers, parents, coaches, and other significant adults who are positive role models. For Cal Ripken, Jr. and his brother Bill, it was their father who provided this loving guidance, displaying his hallmarks of hard work, loyalty, dedication to team play, positive spirit, and integrity. Lessons he taught his players and his children, who started the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to carry on their father's legacy and reach out to kids who might not otherwise have access to the mentors and learning experiences provided through baseball and softball. The Foundation uses baseball and softball as hooks to grab kids' attention and engage them in the lesson, paring on-field activities with off-the-field components to enable young adolescents to take the lessons learned on the field and apply them well beyond the baseball diamond. Celebrating relationships between kids and caring adults is the focus of the Foundation's annual Dad's Day at the Yard. Kids at participating Boys & Girls Clubs are invited to write essays about why they would like to be like their dads or father figures. Connecting children with positive role models is also one of the goals of the Foundation's National Badges for Baseball Program, a new community crime prevention initiative developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice. The program pairs youth with law enforcement professionals who serve as baseball and softball coaches. Instead of seeing law enforcement as the opposition, kids get to know them as people who care. The Foundation's new character education curriculum, "Healthy Choices, Healthy Children" covers the importance of a good work ethic, sportsmanship, personal responsibility, communication and leadership skills, respect, teamwork, and positive thinking. Designed to be used in tandem with a field activity, the lessons stress the impact of the choices one makes, such as choosing to be healthy, choosing one's teammates, and choosing one's future. The Foundation is expanding, launching new programs and adapting existing ones. Many of these new programs are possible due to partnerships with other organizations to pool resources and reach out to more kids.
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 614-895-4730; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A