Frostburg State University spent the past year teaching character lessons to local children thanks to a grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation through the FSU Foundation.
The Healthy Choices, Healthy Children sessions, four each semester, with two lessons per session, focused on teaching children to make good choices. Topics included sportsmanship, leadership, taking responsibility, communication and the value of hard work, said FSU softball coach Wes Landrum, who coordinated the program.
A number of Landrum’s softball players, who are teacher candidates, as well as a handful of teacher candidates on the Bobcat baseball team, worked with the children, who ranged in age from 8 to 14. Children were recruited from the local community through the Cumberland Salvation Army, a partner in the program. The course was offered to the children free of charge.
The Ripken Foundation committed nearly $15,000 to the program, with a third of that coming in the form of equipment to be used by the children.
The program, part of the Ripken Foundation’s Badges for Baseball, was developed as a character education plan that uses the philosophies that Cal Ripken Sr. practiced on the playing field to teach youths how to live off the field.
FSU and Salisbury University were the first educational institutions to offer Healthy Choices, Healthy Children, Landrum said. The program had previously been implemented by youth-serving organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, recreation departments, after-school programs and police athletic leagues.
The FSU Foundation has embarked upon a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Gifts support student enrichment, academic enrichment and regional and cultural enrichment. For more information about supporting FSU, visit foundation.frostburg.edu or call 301-687-4161 or 1-866-241-3296, toll free.