Baseball turned into hide and seek

In my book, leadership starts with serving others. When I was young, I never thought that I could have an impact on anyone else unless I had a lot of money.  Martin Luther King Jr. once said that “everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” Hearing that quote as a teenager changed my life.  We want young men to be great but in order for that to happen, L.E.A.D. provides consistent opportunities to serve.

On yesterday (October 9th), several of our LEADers were able to join me for a day of service and education at Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers.  We had so much fun.  Here was our itinerary.

8:45AM Arrival at Sheltering Arms.  The fall is definitely here in Atlanta.  It was freezing outside.

9:00AM We were greeted by Steven White, Center Director-Early Learning & Resource Center at Dunbar Sheltering Arms. Steven is an Atlanta native and a baseball fan.  I am thoroughly impressed with his leadership.

9:30AM We began reading with the Pre-K students.  These are some bright students that have amazing communication skills.  The teachers are just as amazing and are invested in the success of their students.  This is personal for them.

Will Harris (Maynard Jackson High School) and Tyquavious Noland (Maynard Jackson High School) reading to students.

We had an opportunity to teach the basics of baseball.  The students were very interested and engaged.

Carlos Twine (New Schools at Carver) teaching the fundamentals of baseball.

11:00AM It’s time for our new baseball fans to apply what they learned on the baseball field.  L.E.A.D. provides curriculum based instruction to our middle and high school student-athletes and they are prepared to teach others.  They are truly Ambassadors.

We started out with a good stretch.

Then the games began.  They focused on playing the actual game for a full 45 minutes then they wanted me to play hide and seek.  That was fun but it wore me out!

Marquese Sinkfield (Henry W. Grady High School) giving a helping hand.

12:00PM Lunch time.  We ate it quickly because my LEADers chose to walk the 2 miles to Turner Field instead of riding the bus with the Sheltering Arms kids.  This was also great for me to spend some individual time with our LEADers.  You can learn a lot about someone in a 2 mile walk.

In route to Turner Field crossing the overpass.

Along the way, we took a photo with the Olympic Rings in the back ground.  Atlanta is such an amazing city and has so much to offer if you are invested.  Service and civic engagement provides a sense of investment and belonging to our LEADers.

We are Atlanta!

1:00PM Let the tour begin.  There is so much to know about Turner Field and the Atlanta Braves.  The kids were engaged and had so much fun.  For some of the them, the escalator ride was the best.

It was so cool for them to catch an inside view of this massive structure that they drive by almost everyday.

They hung out in the broadcast book and heard stories about Skip Carey.

They hung out in the visitors dugout.  I can’t believe that we lost to the Cardinals.  We will get them next year.

2:00PM The tour is over but the Atlanta Braves and L.E.A.D. have new fans.

The Pre-K students from Sheltering Arms Dunbar Center will matriculate into Paul L. Dunbar Elementary School then Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and then graduate from Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School.  L.E.A.D. has programming at all of these schools through our partnership with Atlanta Public School. The current high school graduation rate for African-American males in APS is 34%.  There are so many social and economic reasons why the numbers are so low.  It takes a village to raise a child.  Since 2007, L.E.A.D. has graduated 100% of it’s Ambassadors while 100% have enrolled in college.  90% of our Ambassadors have enrolled in college with baseball scholarship opportunities.

L.E.A.D. is more than bats and balls and success is not coincidental.  Come check out L.E.A.D. in action.  Click here for upcoming games and events.