The month’s spotlight travels to Wisconsin, to shine on the United Community Center in Milwaukee. United Community Center has run the Badges for Baseball program for 5 years now. Every year, Athletic Director Eric Roecker makes the Badges for Baseball program innovative and fresh for everyone involved through the Community Learning Center and the Summer Recreation Program. “We have been running the Badges for Baseball program for a long time. Every year, 50% of the kids in the program are brand new. We take field trips here and there but the focus of our program is the relationship with local law enforcement. We keep all our activities going at a fast pace. As long as the kids are moving, they are happy.”
In 2012, 108 boys and girls participated in the program, which included Quickball games and Healthy Choices, Healthy Children lessons taught by local law enforcement from the Milwaukee Police Department and the Delafield Fire Department.
Eric describes the Badges for Baseball program: “I’ve seen some exceptionally positive changes in the youth as the program allows them to get to know the officers. Several youth have expressed interest in becoming FBI agents, CSI agents, police officers or fire fighters. It was through Q&A sessions that youth really shined. The combination of baseball instruction, physical activity, Healthy Choices, Healthy Children curriculum and safety officer interaction gave them something to look forward to every week.”
To Eric and the United Community Center, keep up the great work!