YWCA Rhode Island Strike Zone Summer Camp Aims To Positively Connect Sports, Schoolwork, And Community

Olneyville Little League at Silver Lake’s President Richard Hemphill and I spoke earlier this week about baseball, schoolwork, and a new addition to the Providence community. A baseball and softball facility was in the works at the YWCA in Providence and Richard was excited to promote the work being done, as well as a community based summer camp program. The program is called “Strike Zone” and its mission statement goes far beyond the fundamentals of pitching, hitting, and catching. Richard sent me a few flyers, attached below in this article, and a contact name to learn more about the program – Strike Zone Director Dan LaCorbiniere.

I love the concept and wanted to get Director LaCorbiniere’s input on the facility, the fundamentals the campers will be learning, the schoolwork element, and what to expect at the facility. “The primary objectives of the Strike Zone Program are to promote baseball/softball fundamentals as a means for 50 children ages 5-12 to improve math, science and English language skills, enhance resiliency and coping skills with the goal of improving school attendance, and develop a sense of community and belonging among all participants,” wrote LaCorbiniere.   “At Strike Zone we will utilize Baseball and Softball as a vehicle to accomplish these goals.  The Strike Zone Summer Camp will begin Monday July 11th and run through Friday August 19th.”

So what can a camper and their families enrolled in the Strike Zone Program expect? Director LaCorbiniere stated “Every day the children will be in a large group setting in the early morning and late afternoon. During the rest of the day, they are separated into smaller, age-appropriate groups. The camp offers academic enrichment including math, science and English language problems geared towards baseball and softball. In addition, the campers will participate in other fun projects like arts and crafts, fun games, baseball/softball instruction, cooking, socialization, special events like guest speakers, and go on exciting field trips! The program is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.”

And what about the sports – school – community connection? “Campers will discover the connection between math, science, English language skills and success on the playing field. While also receiving instruction in fundamental and advanced baseball/softball skills, playing games and going on field trips,” said Director LaCorbiniere.

And where is this facility to be located? “Strike Zone will operate from a brand new fully equipped and air-conditioned baseball/softball training facility located at the Nickerson Community Center 133 Delaine St. in Olneyville. We are extremely excited to offer the best baseball facility to our community and offer softball as an option for the first time in this area. So, not only will we have the best facility available in the area for little league baseball players, but we will also be able to offer fastpitch softball instruction for the first time for players under high school age,” stated Director LaCorbiniere.

photo courtesy of Richard Hemphill

And how about the facility itself? Can you give us a sneak peek of what campers, baseball, softball, and community members will see when they walk into The Strike Zone? Director LaCorbiniere listed some highlights and what is on the horizon for Strike Zone:

  • Nearly 4,000-foot screen enclosed training area that includes three hitting tunnels and an open training area
  • Four pop-up hitting nets
  • Five pitching screens
  • Four pitching and fielding machines including one of only two Junior Hack Attack Pitching machine with team feeder that can even throw curve balls and sliders. 
  • Four baseball pitching mounds
  • Two fastpitch softball pitching strips
  • Baseball and softball bats
  • Batting helmets
  • Agility training gear
  • Analytic tools to track improvement
  • Knowledgeable staff of counselors and baseball/softball mentors
  • The shared goal of improving each day as a citizen, a student, an athlete and teammate 
photo courtesy of Richard Hemphill

I have to repost this facility highlight again because it is so awesome – “The shared goal of improving each day as a citizen, a student, an athlete and teammate.” The Strike Zone Program aims to positively impact youth baseball and softball players and I applaud the amazing work being done by Director LaCorbiniere and the YWCA of Rhode Island. I am looking forward to visiting the facility very soon and meeting some of the staff involved in the program. And I also wanted to mention that the YWCA is hiring for the camp so if you are looking for a rewarding summer job, this program looks to be an incredible job opportunity. Director Dan LaCorbiniere sent me his contact information to share if you have any further questions about the Strike Zone Program:

About the YWCA 

Since 1867 has focused efforts to create a more inclusive and just Rhode Island and has advocated on behalf of the most structurally disenfranchised people in our society including low-wage workers, the unemployed, women and girls, people of color, English language learners, immigrants, survivors of abuse, members of the LQBTQQ community, as well as current military and veterans. Our mission is to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

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The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.

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