Get IN Chicago Partners with Chicago Police, Others To Bring Youth Baseball League to Englewood Community

CHICAGO, May 28, 2015 – Get IN Chicago, the public-private partnership dedicated to combatting juvenile violence, today announced a partnership with the Chicago Police Department and Teamwork Englewood to establish a youth baseball league in the Englewood community.

The league of six co-ed teams, for boys and girls ages 9-12, kicked off its season on Tuesday, May 5th, at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St., with a fundamentals of baseball clinic. The league’s practices and mentoring sessions are held on Wednesdays with additional baseball clinics occurring on Tuesdays. The season will run through mid-August, with the first official game to be played on Wednesday, June 24. Children are participating free of charge as Get IN Chicago is paying for league expenses and all equipment, and Mesirow Financial, an independent, diversified financial-services firm, is donating the uniforms.

“The purpose of this program is to promote unification and trustworthiness, to establish and build relationships between the youth and the police of this community,” said Englewood Youth Baseball League Program Manager, Andrea Na’Tay, owner of Forever Fitness Chicago, LLC. “There’s been a lack of baseball activity in Englewood, and we want to develop a better awareness of the sport for our youth.”

In collaboration with the Chicago Park District, Get IN Chicago funded Teamwork Englewood to administer the league and provide supplemental programming for the youth, such as sessions on nutrition, violence prevention and conflict resolution.  Twelve Chicago police officers from the Englewood District are volunteering to serve as coaches and mentors and manage the teams throughout the season.

“The baseball league is an excellent opportunity both for our young people to have productive activities over the summer and to create a real engagement between the people and police in Englewood,” said Dr. Toni Irving, Executive Director of Get IN Chicago. “Teamwork Englewood has a strong foundation in Englewood and is a great partner for facilitating this community based initiative.”

The League aims to expand understanding of the experience of inner-city youth among police officers and reduce negative attitudes, hostilities and opposition of youth and their families toward law enforcement.

“We are thrilled to partner with Get IN Chicago, Mesirow Financial, the Chicago Park District and community stakeholders like Forever Fitness, to make a Field of Dreams a reality in Englewood. Our officers are excited to work with the kids,” said Chicago Police Commander Larry Watson (Dist. – 7th).

“It is crucial that Chicago corporations, nonprofits and City entities continue to establish public-private partnerships, so that we can make Chicago stronger and safer by revitalizing communities citywide,” said Richard Price, Chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and member of the Get IN Chicago Board of Directors. “Let’s make the future brighter for the next generation.”

“With the core goal of creating a better understanding between youth and police officers in our communities, we also hope to create leadership and learning opportunities for youth and their parents in community policing, planning and engagement,” said Dr. Irving.

Get IN Chicago is also working with the Chicago White Sox to provide additional baseball activities for the youth that may include such events as attending games, touring U.S. Cellular Field and receiving baseball instruction from White Sox coaches.

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About Get IN Chicago

Get IN Chicago is a unique public-private partnership to combat juvenile violence through funding evidence-based programs in the city’s most at-risk neighborhoods and evaluating them rigorously for outcomes. A private organization with independent governance and transparency, its responsibilities include identifying and supporting the expansion of proven programs to reduce violence and making the city safer; coordinating and aligning these programs with existing public and community-based efforts; and monitoring program execution and measuring actual performance to ensure improvements are sustainable.

Media Contact:

Kayla Jaroch, Edelman

(312) 240-3156

(847) 707-4770

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