CINCINNATI -- During an on-field ceremony prior to tonights game, Cincinnati Reds players Josh Fogg, Ken Griffey, Jr., David Ross and Javier Valentin will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor 17 Cincinnati-area high school students serving as Captains of the Cincinnati Action Team, a service learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2007-08 school year, these Cincinnati Action Team Captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized hundreds of other students to get involved in volunteer activities.
Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 12,000 high school students across the United States to help over 55,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities, while an Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the country.
Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players tonight are 2007-08 Cincinnati Action Team Captains Joe Hemsink, Eric Kelly, Brian Scheck and Ian McClaughlin of Elder High School; Ross Renken, Alex Rogers, Brad Renken, Rob Sanfillippo, Jeremy Wessels, Kurt Kolish, Bret Schriewer, Eric Stephens and Corey Burgin of Oak Hills High School; Shannon Adams, Danielle Cipriani, Megan McDonald and April Rider of Seton High School. Also, Megan McDonald receives a $1,000 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of her dedication to community service. Among their efforts this past school year, the Cincinnati Action Team organized a community clean-up project that included a 65-acre park and area river banks.
Earlier today, Fogg joined these students and other members of the Cincinnati Action Team as they planted flowers and performed various landscaping tasks around Volunteers of Americas Antioch Manor, a permanent housing facility for disadvantaged adults.
Action Teams are working together in Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.. Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust are planning to expand the Action Team program to Chicago, Cleveland and Tampa during the 2008-09 school-year.
Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.