04/28/2010 4:36 PM ET
Major Leaguers honor local student volunteers
Gabe Kapler, Carlos Pena and Kelly Shoppach Recognize Student Leaders in National Program to Encourage Youth Volunteerism
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- During an on-field ceremony prior to tonight's game, Tampa Bay Rays players Gabe Kapler, Carlos Pena and Kelly Shoppach will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor seven high school students serving as Captains of the Tampa Action TeamŽ, part of the national service-learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2009-10 school-year, these Action Team Captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized volunteer activities.
Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 25,000 high school students across the country to help over 100,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities. An award-winning Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the country. The Association of Educational Publishers presented this innovative service-learning program with a 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award.
Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players are Tampa Action Team Captains Brooke Allie, Kelsey Lamb, Amanda McMeekin, Elizabeth Schmidt, Chris Sullivan and Aaron Sykes from Plant City High School and Krystal Jacobson of East Bay High School. Also, Elizabeth Schmidt and Chris Sullivan each receive a $1,500 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of their dedication to community service.
Action Teams are at work in more than 145 high schools across the country and Puerto Rico. Each month during the school-year, Action Team Captains participate in a conference call with a Major Leaguer and a featured Action Team of the Month, to discuss the importance of community service and to share volunteering tips and ideas. High schools interested in joining the Action Team can receive applications and additional information by sending an e-mail request to ActionTeam@mlbpa.org.
Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com and visit the Players Trust Channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/mlbplayerstrust.