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04/15/2009 1:04 PM ET
Citi Field kids program to provide kids in tri-state communities with motivational and educational experience during inaugural season at Mets' new home
Partnership with Jackie Robinson Foundation provides leadership and mentoring opportunities for area middle and high school students
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Citi today announced the launch of Citi Field Kids, an educational and motivational program for New York City school students, at the Mets' new home throughout the inaugural season at Citi Field. The community-based initiative, developed by Citi in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, United Neighborhood Houses, and the Mets, begins today, on Major League Baseball's annual Jackie Robinson Day and the 62nd anniversary of Robinson breaking the sport's color barrier, when the Mets host the San Diego Padres.

The program will seek to positively impact middle and high school students through the nine values and ideals of Jackie Robinson, the legendary pioneer and great American trailblazer who broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The "nine values" he embodied - as articulated by his daughter and Foundation Vice Chair, Sharon Robinson - courage, integrity, determination, persistence, citizenship, justice, commitment, teamwork, and excellence serve as a focal point of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field to advance and perpetuate Jackie's humanitarian ideals.

Each of the Citi Field Kids visits will begin with a pre-game private tour of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda led by a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar. Other guests at the six visits will include current or former Mets, front-office executives, broadcasters or a teammate of Jackie Robinson for a question and answer session rooted in mentoring and education.

"We are excited and honored to initiate a unique community program at Citi Field that can have such a positive impact on the lives of so many young people," said Terri Dial, CEO of Consumer Banking North America and Global Head of Consumer Strategy, Citi. "The Citi Field Kids initiative will reach hundreds of deserving students and provides a unique interaction among the students and community leaders."

CITI FIELD KIDS / PAGE 2
"The Citi Field Kids program is one of many community initiatives that are an integral component of our partnership with Citi," said Dave Howard, Executive Vice President, Business Operations, New York Mets. "We look forward to hosting - in conjunction with Citi - these middle and high school students at Citi Field to help provide a unique and profound learning experience."

Participating in the program's inaugural season will be middle and high school students from the 36 nonprofit organizations that make up the United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) federation of settlement houses and community centers. For 90 years, UNH and its nonprofit members have been improving the lives of New Yorkers in the five boroughs by providing social, educational, and recreational services for people of all ages. UNH works specifically with youth across New York City to advocate for important programs such as the Summer Youth Employment Program, while the 36 nonprofit members provide programs such as afterschool and summer camp, arts workshops and education, leadership training and recreation of all types - all designed to support them in becoming successful adults.

"The Citi Field Kids program is a wonderful opportunity for young people involved with UNH to learn of Jackie's journey, the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars, and Mets personnel," said Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses. "Our kids are tomorrow's leaders and it is wonderful that the Mets and Citi both are investing in their futures as part of a solid commitment to New York City."

In addition to the inaugural game on Wednesday, April 15 vs. San Diego (7:10 p.m.), there will be five other Citi Field Kids this season: Wednesday, May 13 vs. Atlanta (1:10 p.m.); Thursday, June 25 vs. St. Louis (1:10 p.m.); Thursday, July 30 vs. Colorado (12:10 p.m.); Wednesday, August 5 vs. St. Louis (12:10 p.m.); and Monday, August 24 vs. Philadelphia (1:10 p.m.).

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