Office of the Attorney General
Badges For Baseball Pilot Program Helping Area Youth Learn Baseball Basics, Healthy Choices
Two months after its launch in Kentucky, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation’s Badges for Baseball program has nearly 100 youth participants. Attorney General Jack Conway, who spearheaded efforts to bring the crime-prevention program to the Commonwealth, partnered with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Louisville Metro Police, the Kentucky Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, and Louisville Slugger to launch the state’s first Badges for Baseball pilot program in Louisville on May 5.
"From the first time I learned about Badges for Baseball, I knew it was a program that could have a positive impact on Kentucky youth," said General Conway. "We in state government certainly understand the fiscal challenges being felt by area Boys and Girls Clubs. Programs like Badges for Baseball are an important reminder of the valuable impact these clubs have on our communities and most importantly kids who need a helping hand."
Badges for Baseball pairs at-risk youth with law enforcement professionals who serve as coaches and mentors. Five Metro Louisville Police officers are permanently designated to the program with other officers assisting as schedules permit. Participants learn the basics of baseball as well as the importance of respect, perseverance, leadership and making good choices in life. Badges for Baseball serves as a positive outlet for youth during out-of-school hours when they are most likely to commit or become victims of crime.
Last month, five outstanding program participants traveled to Aberdeen, Md., all expenses paid, to attend the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Summer Camp.
"This was a truly memorable experience for these kids, most of whom had never been on an airplane," said Geoff Norman, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club. "We hope the lessons learned and memories made during the summer camp will have a lasting impression."
Attendees of the summer camp were selected based on their attendance, grades and experience playing baseball.
- Andre Teague Jr. - 10
- Layron Logan Jr. - 10
- Dar’Tanya Chavez Coleman - 15
- Marquis Nelson - 13
- Austin Davis - 12
General Conway met with the camp participants in Frankfort today and presented each with a Certificate of Recognition for his success in the Badges for Baseball program.
This pilot program is funded by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. To support the expansion of the program, General Conway requested federal stimulus grant money to bring Badges for Baseball to at least 10 other Kentucky counties. General Conway hopes to have a response to the request by the end of July.
"Statistics show that youth participating in effective mentoring programs are 46% less likely to use drugs, 53% less likely to skip school and 27% less likely to begin using alcohol," said General Conway. "Badges for Baseball has the potential to change the lives of at-risk kids across the Commonwealth."
About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation uses baseball and softball themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged youth. Founded in 2001 by members of the Ripken family in memory of their patriarch Cal, Sr., the Foundation works to create programs that positively impact disadvantaged youth through active community partnerships with America’s most successful youth service organizations. For more information, please visit www.ripkenfoundation.org.