Community Service Day: Nationals Youth Baseball Academy
April 24, 2019
Take me out to the ballgame…
Take me out the crowd…
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack…
I don’t c---…
You know the rest.
Our most recent Community Service Day took place at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, and if you think baseball is the only thing happening at the Academy, think again.
While kids who go to the Academy do, in fact, learn about sports, they also learn about life. Through a variety of well-planned programs, DC youth (Scholar-Athletes) learn valuable lessons that will help them through every stage of their development. Whether it’s practicing running drills with a former running back from the University of Maryland (yes, this happened while we were there!), getting homework assistance, or having a dance-off, there’s no shortage of enrichment for youth at the Academy.
LGW Members who attended the Community Service Day had an opportunity to experience all of the excitement of a typical day and learned about the history of the Academy. Here are a few takeaways:
The Nationals Youth Baseball Academy believes that all children can succeed when they are supported in every way. The Academy's work is guided by the cornerstones of youth development and the belief that every child has the ability to thrive when they are provided the right tools for success and growth.
Baseball and softball are central to the Academy's mission of helping underserved youth in Washington grow into determined students, supportive teammates and leaders in their communities.
The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy serves as a collaboration center for the development and implementation of programs that improve health outcomes in Wards 7 and 8. Through collaboration with local nonprofits and health organizations, the Academy is able to provide opportunities and experiences for their Scholar-Athletes and members of the community.
In 2013, the Academy and DC Greens carried out an initial garden build resulting in 12 raised beds producing fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the "Field of Greens." Scholar-Athletes in the Academy's after-school program accessed the garden to learn about organic farming and food preparation. Later, 1,200 square feet of in-ground rows were added to increase the amount of cultivated land. From kale to strawberries to a "pollinator garden," the "Field of Greens" brings a hands-on gardening experience right to the Academy's backyard.
Another takeaway: don’t let 5th graders trick you into a race. You will probably lose.
Thanks so much to the staff and coaches at the Academy who graciously opened their doors for us to experience something truly great in our region!
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