|For Immediate Release
June 6, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
*STUDENTS HIT HOME RUN IN ANTI-GANG CHALLENGE*
ANGELS HOST OVER 1,000 AT-RISK STUDENTS AT BASEBALL GAME IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT TO KEEP KIDS IN SCHOOL
AND OUT OF GANGS
*Media interested in attending this event are asked to arrive at Angel Stadium at 3:30 p.m. to obtain a press pass
ORANGE COUNTY – In an ongoing effort to keep children out of gangs, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Angels) will open their gates Wednesday, June 8, 2011, for the third consecutive year to over 1,000 at-risk students as a reward for improved behavior and for staying out of gangs. The students will arrive at 3:30 p.m. and have early access to Angel Stadium, where they will be seated behind the dugout and have an opportunity to be greeted by Angels players Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter prior to the team’s stretch and warm up. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. when the Angels face the Tampa Bay Rays.
More than 1,000 students, ages 9 to 13, in grades 4 through 8, will attend the game. They come from 23 schools, including 15 elementary schools, and nine middle schools in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Orange, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, and unincorporated area of North Orange County. The names of the 23 schools will be displayed on the Angel Vision JumboTron during the game with a congratulatory message about the students’ improvement in school.
The students will be accompanied by 230 parent and teacher chaperones, all as guests of the Angels, who donated over 1,100 tickets, free baseball caps for the students, and free parking for the third consecutive year in support of the anti-gang efforts by Orange County law enforcement and schools. This will be the largest VIP group ever hosted at Angel Stadium prior to the gates opening to the public before a game.
In September 2010, students with severe behavioral problems, including some with as many as 10 suspensions in one school year, were identified by the Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (GRIP) as being high-risk for gang exposure and activity. With an end-reward of attending an Angels game as a VIP guest, the students were challenged to complete the school year with improved attendance and grades, no suspensions, and involvement in positive after school activities. A videotape challenge by All-Star, Gold Glove Award winning right fielder Torii Hunter was shown to the children (https://www.youtube.com/user/OrangeCountyDA). Over 1,000 students have successfully met that challenge. In the last three years, schools involved with GRIP that were identified as the worst schools for attendance and test scores have now become the best schools in the district for attendance and test scores. Vandalism, suspension, expulsion, and crimes on these campuses have significantly decreased.
“Thank you, Angels, for investing in these kids and making our community safer,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “The Angels have shown these kids that good behavior will result in good things.”
“We are very proud of the students and their parents for taking advantage of the challenge,” said Anaheim Police Chief John Welter. “We are very grateful to the Angels for their tremendous help.”