Continuing their strong, ongoing partnership, OriolesREACH and Baltimore City Schools planned a series of activities in 2013, including hosting more than 7,000 students as part of Baltimore City Schools Night at Oriole Park. Additional events were held to support the City Schools' initiative to promote three core pillars of success among students attendance, diversity and teamwork. These pillars were identified as core character traits for students by Baltimore City Schools. Pitcher Jason Hammel visited Curtis Bay Elementary School as a reward for those students who reduced their absences by 50% through the "FAN"tastic Attendance Program. Curtis Bay Elementary students who qualified for perfect or improved attendance awards received a photo opportunity with the Oriole Bird, and top attendance award winners received an Orioles prize pack, including game tickets and promotional items. Hammel also recorded a message encouraging regular school attendance and punctuality that was played over City Schools public address systems.
As part of Baltimore City Schools Night at Oriole Park on May 9, the Orioles hosted more than 7,000 Baltimore City School students for their game against the Kansas City Royals. To help encourage regular school attendance, the
Orioles offered a fully-catered party suite for the two schools that showed the most improvement in attendance between March 15 and April 22. Baltimore Antioch Diploma Plus and Steuart Hill Academic Academy won the challenge, and 75 students from these schools enjoyed the game from a suite on the ballpark's Club Level.
In pre-game ceremonies that evening, Baltimore City Teacher of the Year Ketia Stokes, a 6th-8th grade special education teacher from Green Street Academy, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, accompanied by Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso and all City Schools Teacher of the Year finalists. The finalists enjoyed that night's game from a private suite courtesy of Nick and Christina Markakis. The National Anthem was performed by Western High School's "Sounds Unlimited" chorus and the Patterson High School Color Guard presented colors before the game.
Also, for the second consecutive year, Oriole Park at Camden Yards hosted the Baltimore City Public High School Championship game. Digital Harbor won the championship over Poly Technic 11-1 in a rematch of last year's game. The players from Digital Harbor were recognized in the pre-game ceremonies on May 9.
The Orioles honor Baltimore City Schools Teacher of the Year finalists, including the winner, 10 Ketia Stokes (right) of Green Street Academy.
The players from the Baltimore City Public High School Championship team, Digital Harbor, are recognized during pregame ceremonies on May 9.
The Orioles and The Living Classrooms Foundation teamed up to develop a healthy lifestyles program which featured 25 middle school students working out with Joe Hogarty and Ryan Crotin from the Baltimore Orioles Strength and Conditioning staff, in partnership with the health and wellness staff at the Patterson Park Youth Sports and Education Center Powered by Under Armour. Through this program, the Orioles promoted healthy living and encouraged youth to take part in athletics while educating them on the tools needed to maintain long-term physical fitness. Participants included boys and girls ages 12-14 from East Baltimore who showed interest across a variety of sports. Students met with Orioles strength and conditioning coaches once each month to test their progression in seven areas of fitness building defined by the National Presidential Youth Fitness Program: speed, relative strength, strength endurance, lower body power, aerobic power, agility and functional mobility.
The program ran from May through August on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the kickoff event taking place on May 22. All participants received tickets to an Orioles game, and the three most improved students were recognized in an on-field ceremony on September 10. The Orioles recognized Christian Moya and Sydney Pinkett with a medal for Outstanding Male and Female Performer and Ian Furst with the Coach's Strength and Determination Award. All participants in the program were provided tickets for the game.
On August 19, the Orioles welcomed the Maryland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery and the 2013 Summer Reading Representatives from all the counties across Maryland. These students represented more than 160,000 children from all over Maryland who participated in the 2013 Summer Reading Club, Dig Into Reading. The students registered at their local public libraries and completed the reading log by reading books, graphic novels or magazines. The Orioles supported the 2013 Summer Reading Club by donating tickets to every library branch in Maryland. The Summer Reading Club is a cooperative project between local public libraries, such as Enoch Pratt Free Library and Baltimore County Public Library, the Maryland State Department of Education and the Division of Library Development and Services, with funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
As a part of Recess Baltimore, an eight-month after school program designed to reduce childhood obesity by engaging children in physical activity and educating them about healthy eating, the Orioles and the American Heart Association co-hosted a Healthy Living/Active Lifestyle clinic for 400 Baltimore City Recreation Center youth on December 13 at the William Myers Recreation Center. The event featured Orioles staff including Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Hogarty, who acted as host with the Oriole Bird. The youth rotated between five stations and received instruction on baseball skills, stationary calisthenics, mobile drills and nutrition. Former Orioles Al Bumbry, Chris Holies and Paul Blair were also on hand to help instruct. Each participant received an Orioles t-shirt and hat and a healthy snack and water courtesy of Coca-Cola.
Hundreds of youth from the Brooklyn O'Malley Boys and Girls Club and members of their community have access to the latest technologies thanks to a renovated and expanded Technology and Learning Center made possible by a $75,000 donation from the Orioles Charitable Foundation and Boys and Girls Club alumnus Adam Jones. The renovation enhanced the Club's ability to provide educational support, computer skill development and career enrichment, college preparatory, and STEM (Science/Technology/ Engineering/Math) programs to these at-risk and underserved youth. Adults are also able to utilize the new Technology and Learning Center for employment searches, financial literacy, GED and career and educational support. Jones, who was a member of the Encanto Boys and Girls Club as a youth in San Diego, has been an active supporter of the Metropolitan Baltimore Boys and Girls Clubs throughout his time with the Orioles. In a pregame ceremony on June 13, Jones presented a $75,000 check to Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore CEO Ken Darden and the Orioles hosted 50 youth from the Brooklyn O'Malley Boys and Girls Club. Construction on the new Technology and Learning Center began with Jones and other Orioles staff, Orioles Wives, and Boys and Girls Club members demolishing the existing classroom and painting the new one. The Brooklyn O'Malley Boys and Girls Club also partnered with institutions of higher learning, local libraries, corporate partners and Baltimore City Public Schools to recruit adult participants as volunteers and mentors for the Technology and Learning Center. The Orioles also donated a player-used, autographed and authenticated regulation size ping pong table to the Club. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the renovated space took place on November 6.