|For Immediate Release
June 1, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
*STUDENTS HIT ANTI-GANG CHALLENGE OUT OF THE BALLPARK*
ANGELS HOST OVER 1,200 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 3:00 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 Monday, June 4, 2012, for the fourth consecutive year to over 1,200 at-risk students as a reward for improved behavior and for staying out of gangs. This is the largest-ever number of students to participate and succeed in the challenge.
The students will arrive at 3:00 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 a former Angels and National Baseball Hall of Fame player Rod Carew prior to the team’s stretch and warm up. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. when the Angels face the Seattle Mariners.
More than 1,200 students, ages 9 to 13, in grades 4 through 8, will attend the game. They come from 34 schools, including 24 elementary schools, and 10 middle schools in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Mission Viejo, Orange, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Stanton, and unincorporated North Orange County. The names of the 34 schools will be displayed on the Angel Vision JumboTron during the game with a congratulatory message about the students’ improvement in school. Representatives from Saddleback Church will entertain the students with games and prizes after the students watch the Angels’ batting practice and prior to the start of the game. The students will receive meals provided by Aramark and the Anaheim Family Justice Center.
The students will be accompanied by 200 parent and teacher chaperones, all as guests of the Angels, who donated over 1,400 tickets and free parking for the fourth 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 2011, students with severe behavioral problems, including some with as many as 10 suspensions in one school year, were identified by the Orange County Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (OC 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. In the last four years, schools involved with OC 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.
Over 75 law enforcement personnel are also expected to be in attendance to congratulate the students, including Anaheim Police Chief John Welter, Buena Park Police Chief Corey Sianez, Garden Grove Police Chief Kevin Rainey, Orange Police Chief Robert Gustafson, Orange County District Attorney.