Badges for Baseball kick off 4/4/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 4, 2014

Badges for Baseball kick off

By Rita Howell
About 50 representatives from Mississippi Boys and Girls Clubs met in Batesville Thursday for training for the Badges for Baseball program sponsored by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation of Baltimore.

The Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Mississippi, which has participated in the program for several years, hosted the meeting.

Also attending were local law enforcement officers who will serve as coaches and mentors for Batesville youth in baseball and softball programs at the Boys and Girls Club this summer.
The Ripken Foundation last year sponsored Badges for Baseball programs in more than 200 communities in 19 states, with emphasis on helping law enforcement build relationships on and off the field with at-risk youth, according to a press release from the organization. The program teaches respect, teamwork and communication in addition to the fundamentals of baseball and softball.

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A bonus for the local club is that five members will be selected to attend the Cal Ripken Foundation summer camp in Maryland this year, according to Belinda Morris, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Mississippi.

This year the national Badges for Baseball program is partnering with Rachel’s Challenge, a foundation created by the family of Columbine High School shooting victim Rachel Joy Scott to honor her memory by promoting a culture–a chain reaction– of kindness and compassion. Incorporated into the summer baseball program will be Rachel’s five challenges: look for the best in others; dream big; choose positive influences, speak with kindness; start your own chain reaction.