By Rebecca S. Jones
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
HOUSTON – In an excerpt retrieved from Youth Baseball and Life Lessons written by Coach Jon, he explains the varying ways the sport may empower and teach young people vital life skills.
Values such as learning baseball and life isn’t always fair, how to deal with failure and adversity, follow directions, handle success; and knowing how to be a positive team player and leader, are just a few of the things baseball can teach youngsters.
Having had exceptional mentors growing up in Acreage Homes, Mr. Larry T. Davis personally knows the benefits of mentorship. As such, Davis is the President of the Lincoln Park Rays Little League Baseball Youth Organization.
In 2009, Davis and a group of volunteers from the community established a youth baseball program in partnership with the City of Houston Parks Department and Harris County Precinct 1. The program is based at Lincoln Park Community Center located at 979 Grenshaw, Houston, 77088. It is free to the public and open to children ages 4-16.
The program was designed to use baseball as a tool to mentor area youth. Since inception, the Center has provided a safe and rewarding facility for the youth and volunteers to engage with one another. Annually, 25-30 volunteers assist with the program, which sponsors of over 100 children. Volunteers are not just limited to serving the baseball youth program; they assist the leadership team of Lincoln Park and its’ personnel in the Center’s after-school and summer programs and consistently work in any other areas needed.
The Lincoln Park Rays Little League Baseball Youth Program recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary by hosting a banquet. Officers of the program include: Elder Reuben Rice, Vice President; Janice Crawford, Secretary/Treasury and Lewis Crawford, Sergeant at Arms.
The organization’s goal is to “help youth acquire the necessary physical, mental, spiritual and educational skills needed to guide them to a productive future; by striving for excellence with grace and honor.” The year-round project teaches children how to play baseball and softball through its Grand Slam for Youth Baseball and Jr. R.B.I. programs, sponsored by the Houston Astros Foundation and Minute Maid Park.
When asked about the type of impact the organization has had on the community, the President explained how working with park officials has helped to strengthen the community and build closer family relationships.
He said, “Our presence at Lincoln Park has led to more participation of parents and youth at the park; the park has become a safe environment which offers quality programs for both parents and kids to participate in.”
Davis, who is a retired veteran and postal worker has over 50-years of experience in mentoring youth. He says, “The development of our youth is very important, and baseball is a good sport to teach kids life skills; because it teaches you how to think and use that and teach them different ways to approach a situation.” He continued, “The kids appreciate what we do, and we always try to use the mentorship approach – a little sternness and a whole lot of love.”
The Lincoln Park Rays Baseball Youth Organization is always looking for volunteers and participants. To learn more about how to get involved stop by Lincoln Park Community Center and pick up a form. For more information about the program, you may also contact Larry Davis (281) 537-0964 or Janice Crawford (832) 533-4110.