Since the Trenton Thunder's first season in 1994, the Athletic Department has had a presence with the AA baseball team. In partnership with the Student Volunteers Council and the Trenton Thunder, the Athletic Department created the "Taking Kids Out" program to bring inner city children to the games while providing an academic experiences using baseball as the theme.
The PVC spoke with this past summer's intern - Kathryn Welch '09 (Ivy League Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Ivy in softball) about her experience with the TKO program.
Q. What drew you to the TKO Program?
I wanted to work with the TKO program because I really enjoy working with kids and I am a big fan of baseball. TKO combined the best of both worlds.
Q. What was a typical day like?
I would arrive early to Waterfront Park, a beautiful little stadium on the water in Trenton, and meet Joe Robinson '05 before the kids arrived. We would take the group of about 12 kids into the stadium to a room close to the locker room. Joe spoke to the kids about baseball using statistics, stories and maps for math lessons, reading and geography. I would walk around and help them read their papers and understand the lesson. I was really taken aback by how little the kids knew about baseball, and how anxious they were to learn more about the sport. After the lesson, a player from the Trenton Thunder would surprise the kids and speak about his life, education and baseball with the boys and girls. I loved seeing the excitement on the kids faces when the player would agree to sign his autograph. Lastly, we would take the kids into the stands on the right-field side (of course making sure to make a trip to the food stands). The view could not be better and the kids could absorb the fun atmosphere of the stadium.
Q. What were some of the highlights of your involvement with the TKO program?
I loved working with TKO. The kids were so sweet and fun to be around. They listened to Joe and I whole-heartedly. The little girls wanted to hold my hands, and the little boys wanted me to constantly quiz them on baseball terms and what was happening in the game. I knew that with every group of boys and girls I worked with, I was helping to introduce them to a sport I loved and they could love as well.
Another wonderful aspect of TKO was working with Joe Robinson '05. Joe is such a genuinely kind person. He is so easy to work with and I learned a lot from just watching him. He related to the kids and treated them with respect and like young adults. He also game me insight on Princeton and life after graduation. I feel very lucky that I was able to work with such a great person in such a wonderful program.