#FunAtBat: New Reds partnership gets younger kids more active
BOND HILL, Ohio (Brad Underwood) - The Reds Urban Youth Academy continues to make lives better for the city's youth with a new partnership with the Community Action Agency (CAA).
The Head Start Program is run by the CAA, and now, with the help of the academy, pre-school age children are getting some cuts in the indoor facility off Seymour Avenue.
It's a six week program called "Fun at Bat," and it teaches the four and five-year-olds sports skills and life concepts like respect and teamwork.
"It's important for me to have my kid in something so he can be involved and be a team player," said Lara Roach of North College Hill.
Roach's son Charles is 4-years-old and spends the two hours running around with a smile on his face.
"He looks forward to it every week, it's really great that he gets an opportunity to be with friends but also to learn something new and to be active so he appreciates it," said Roach.
There are close to 100 kids playing Sunday. 4-year-old Natasha Futil can't wait until Sunday, according to her mother Desirae Futil.
"She's excited about wearing her little jersey and being around her friends, it's a great experience," said Futil.
In the past, the academy typically worked kids older than 6-years-old, but Herb Riley says this is an important move, getting the kids in at an even younger age.
"It's great to see the kids come up at this small age. I can't wait to see where they are going to be in a years to come," said Riley.
Riley coaches in the RBI league with the older kids and hopes one day many of the young sluggers he's teaching will play in high school with success like the young ladies he coaches now.
"It's great to see the young ladies come up from like seventh or eighth grade and play high school ball," said Riley. "Actually a lot of them have gone on to play college ball, so it's great to see them do that."
For many of the kids, this is the only organized team activity they are involved in.
Roach says she continues to pass on the word about what's happening to other parents hoping even more kids will show up and take advantage of the activities the academy offers.