Perfect Game Cares Foundation Issues Grant to Help South Atlanta Youth Play Summer Baseball & Softball
●First-ever grant from the PG Cares Foundation’s Grow the Game Fund includes generous contributions from Perfect Game alums, George Springer and Trevor Story
●Perfect Game Cares Foundation seeks to remove economic barriers that stand between kids in underserved communities and their chance to play the sports of baseball and softball
The Perfect Game Cares Foundation today announced that Slater Elementary School in South Atlanta is the first grant recipient of its new Grow the Game Fund. Slater Elementary School will use the grant to establish its own baseball/softball leagues for its students as well as provide entry fees that allow students to participate in the local Carver YMCA summer baseball/softball league.
The Perfect Game Cares Foundation teamed up with its partners Rawlings, New Balance, and Augusta Sportswear to provide free gear and equipment, such as gloves, bats, footwear and uniforms to help the Slater Elementary students prepare for the start of their season.
Providing resources to create these new leagues and playing opportunities for the school community follows recent Perfect Game Cares Foundation activities at Slater Elementary, including a PG Cares caravan visit as well as a free youth baseball/softball camp in March that included former Major League baseball players Lou Collier, Ben Ford, Luis Gonzalez, Tom “Flash” Gordon, Brian Jordan, Junior Spivey and Greg Vaughn.
The Perfect Game Cares Foundation’s Grow the Game Fund is made possible by generous donations from MLB players and PG Alumni, Trevor Story and George Springer, corporate partner TOP Chops Beef Jerky and contributions from others passionate about removing barriers that stand between children from underserved communities and their chance to fall in love with the sports of baseball and softball.
"Spending a day with the kids at Slater in March was the highlight of the year for me,” said Perfect Game Founder and President, Jerry Ford. “Just seeing all those kids having a lot of fun playing baseball was just as much fun for me. Many had never played baseball or softball, but despite not having the same advantages as others, they were an absolute joy to be around. The entire staff at Slater is amazing and they all truly care about these kids. We need to do more, much more, in these underserved communities, where some people may lack the resources to play baseball and softball."
“We are absolutely thrilled to have built such a strong relationship with the staff and students from Slater Elementary. Our Grow the Game Fund was created specifically to provide needed resources to kids such as the Slater children,” said Perfect Game Cares Foundation Executive Director, Jennifer Ford. “We are passionate about giving kids opportunities, regardless of their circumstances, that provide encouragement and hope. Our focus is to grow the game of baseball and softball for all children at all levels, and every day like-minded corporate partners, current and former big leaguers and individual donors step up to the plate to help. We are certainly better together, and these kids deserve it.”
"Perfect Game has become an integral part of the Purpose Built family,” said Donya Kemp, principal of Slater Elementary. “Their partnership has brought so many rich experiences to our students and has opened the world to them in new and positive ways. I've never worked with a partner with a deeper commitment or investment before, and they have changed all of our lives for the better. We will be forever grateful for their support, partnership, and friendship."
Purpose Built Schools Atlanta partners with Atlanta Public Schools to transform a network of schools in south Atlanta into successful, sustainable neighborhood schools where every student has an opportunity to thrive. Slater emulates the educational model, which combines the best of traditional public schools with the best of charter schools to offer a proven model designed to put all students on a trajectory for success.
Jasmine Swain, mother of Slater league players, Ariah and Autumn, added, “This program is giving a lot of kids whose parents aren’t able to afford to pay for them to participate on a team the opportunity to explore new things. I want to say thanks for giving my children the opportunity to be involved in such an amazing program. This program is teaching them how to be a great team player as well as an athlete. There is no favoritism—every child is treated the same and fairly. I’m glad I chose to put my kids on this team. I believe that they will not only learn the basics of the game, but how to be a great team player.”
Perfect Game Cares Foundation and its Grow the Game Fund plans to continue its support of Slater Elementary and other schools around the country whose students may not otherwise have opportunities to pick up a bat and glove and enjoy the games of baseball and softball.
To learn more about Perfect Game Cares and the Grow the Game Fund, please visit www.perfectgamecares.org.