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Youth in our community will get a chance to pair up with law enforcement in a program designed to bring the two together.
Through the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Cal Ripkin Senior Foundation a $20,000 grant was awarded to the Zanesville Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, Wednesday. The program is eight weeks and is called Ohio Badges for Baseball. The hands-on program teams law enforcement with youth ages 10-14 to help create a positive relationship between the two.
"We believe the Ripkin Foundation's values and goals align with what we are doing here at Big Brothers, Big Sisters. We're looking for folks to be mentors to kids, to teach them leadership, sportsmanship and respect and there are ways to overcome any obstacle and adversity in their lives, "said Mollie Crooks from Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Locally, Big Brothers, Big Sisters will team up with both the Zanesville Metropolitan Housing Authority and the Zanesville Civic League to host the program. The Muskingum County Sheriff's Office will provide the law enforcement personnel but the hopes is to expand.
"The badges part of it is very broad, so we have a lot of support we believe throughout the community and by going to Zanesville Civic League and Zanesville Metropolitan Housing, those are two wonderful youth service organizations in Zanesville. It makes it great for us to have partners like that we can rely on," said Crooks.
The Badges for Baseball program is available in 17 states. Zanesville is one of three pilot sites testing the program in Ohio. The program begins in June. Those interested should contact Big Brothers, Big Sisters.