August 22, 2011

JLPA-MP Voluteer for Junior Giants Festival

By Ann-Christel Graham, Community VP

Crystal Galliher, Beth Greenberg, Brenna Preston, Alyse Benham, Alyse's friend, Lisa, Jen Baker
On August 14, JLPA-MP volunteers participated in The Junior Giants Festival which celebrates Junior  Giants teams that successfully completed the Home Run Level of the Round the Bases Reading Program, a campaign designed by the Giants Community Fund to encourage reading throughout the summer. Once all of the players on a team account for 12 hours of reading and reach the Home Run level, their team earns the chance to visit AT&T Park for the festival. These kids also committed to a healthy summer, giving up things like soda and focusing on healthy eating habits. To encourage healthy eating habits, JLPA-MP volunteers manned a parfait station where the Junior Giants teams could build their own parfaits using vanilla yogurt, blueberries and granola.

Laura Rogers (Sustainer) and Brenna Preston
Going into the event, we weren't sure which parfait ingredient we'd run out of first: yogurt, blueberries or  granola. We all had our own opinion on what the kids would like the most. We saw multiple kids first respond "no thank you" to blueberries, then change their mind and give it a try, and another kid who really wasn't sure about the parfait concept at all only to see him come and ask for seconds about 5 minutes later. Though I wasn't there at the end to determine what the kids liked the most based on what was eaten, I can certainly say the parfaits were well received.

The excitement wasn't all about the parfaits, however. As a young boy was finishing his while sitting in the SF Giants dugout, he exclaimed: "This is my first time on the field and in the Giants dugout. I am so excited!" That sentiment was shared by all the kids and JLPA-MP volunteers alike.

Meaux Costello and Michelle Bilafer
The Junior Giants event was a great opportunity to serve our community, get hands-on with kids, and partner with a non-profit that we hadn't worked with previously. I heard Vanessa Roach say: "Now this is what I call hands-on!" and another volunteer comment: "Seeing and hearing how appreciative these kids were made this event extra special." I think we'd all like to see this event become a repeatable DIAD for years to come.

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