It’s almost Action Team time. The beginning of the school year is when existing Action Team Captains – those high school students who plan and organize Action Team events in their school and community – are busy planning how they’ll make a difference during the year. It’s also when students are forming new Action Teams at high schools across the country, and, in the process – whether they know it or not – of building a legacy that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
When it launched more than a decade ago, high school students and Major Leaguers in only a handful of locations were pioneers blazing a trail in their efforts to train and inspire the next generation of volunteers.
Today, the Action Team program, founded as part of the partnership between the Players Trust and Volunteers of America in 2003, has grown to a nationwide youth volunteer program that includes students from more than 100 high schools in 34 states – and counting! There are even Action Teams in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
The Action Team Captains work alongside Major League players through training sessions, monthly teleconferences and selected Action Team initiatives throughout the year. Together, they learn from experts and each other how to choose community projects that will have an impact and how to inspire their peers to get involved.
“The more that I got involved in the Action Team the more I got interested in volunteering and it just took off,” said Ryker Wakeley, an Action Team Captain from Seattle who received a $2,000 scholarship from the Players Trust this spring.
The Glacier Park High School student was one of 20 Action Team Captains who received a scholarship in 2015 in recognition of their outstanding community service efforts and dedication to the Action Team program.
If you have a group of students who are interested, starting a new Action Team in your high school is easy. You need at least one teacher or adult school staff member (or parent) to serve as the Action Team Coordinator, who will be responsible for managing the program and communication with the Players Trust and Volunteers of America. Be sure to let your adult coordinator know that the time requirements are minimal – the Action Team Captains take the lead.
With input from the coordinators, the Captains are responsible for planning and organizing Action Team-related volunteer activities during the school year in which they encourage involvement from others, including their peers.
Schedule permitting, Action Team Captains participate in monthly Action Team conference calls that feature Major League baseball players and a featured Action Team of the month, as well as Captains and coordinators from across the United States.
The monthly calls are hosted by veteran broadcaster George Grande. Major Leaguers David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Wesley Wright, Steven Souza, Max Scherzer, and Chris Capuano were the players who joined the calls during the 2014-15 school year.
The Players Trust and Volunteers of America ask that Action Teams share their service activities 30 to 60 days in advance (you never know when a big-league player might be able to attend!) and to share pictures and videos of their events so that we can post them on ActionTeam.org as a way to help inspire others to volunteer.
Action Team Captains are also provided access to our members-only Resource Center, where they’ll find informative videos as well as some step-by-step volunteer activities for those Teams looking for new ideas. Each Action Team Captain receives a free T-shirts and Teams receive posters to help promote their activities. Oh, and don’t forget, Action Team Captains are eligible for college scholarships from the Players Trust.
Please consider joining our team, and begin planning your high school legacy today.
For further information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-714-0755.