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Cheap New College Baseball Jerseys For Sale

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Young kids often look for someone to look up to.

Whether it’s their parents, a sibling or a teacher, they gravitate to someone older to view as a role model.

This idea is being utilized by Hackett Elementary School through its “Lunch Buddy” program.

It’s a partnership started with Beloit College in 2013 to have its baseball team come in once a week to pair up with kids and play with them during lunchtime.

In 2015, Jacque DeGeorge took over the program.

DeGeorge is not just a teacher at Hackett Elementary, but also the wife of Beloit College head baseball coach Dave DeGeorge.

“We wanted to match our players on our baseball team to the young kids at the school to create a mentoring program,” Dave DeGeorge said.

“We began with literally 2 or 3 college players that would come over once a week to meet with their lunch buddy. It’s now grown to every year having more than 20 kids on the team that volunteer and get involved with the program.”

It’s not just the players who have bought into the program.

The kids look forward to their lunch buddies coming to visit.

Hackett Elementary principal Ryan McReynolds sees kids constantly asking for a buddy when the players walk into school.

“Every kid wants one. For the kids who have a buddy, it’s a special relationship they have forged with the players,” McReynolds said.

“Some of the players return over the years and its the same buddy so they’ve watched them grow through the years which is really neat. It gives our kids something to look forward to.”

Danny Belling is one of those returning players.

The Buccaneers pitcher is a senior at Beloit College and has been a part of the Lunch Buddy program since his entire college career.

Being a seasoned vet on the field and in the classroom, Belling takes a lot of pride in being able to spend time with he kids.

“I’ve met four different kids and they’ve all been great. They’ve all hugged me everyday and it’s been great,” Belling said.

Being a part of the program has created so many memories for Belling.

He remembers the first year he volunteered, his buddy went as far to come out to watch his home baseball games.

“He’d come give me a hug, I’d give him a game ball. It was always great to see him,” Belling said.

“We’re something more to them than we are to ourselves.”

Belling is a good example of the program being beneficial for both the kids and the players.

Coach McGeorge believes it’s helped his team to have a better outlook on life after saying goodbye to the kids every week.

“I think it’s helped our guys have more fun and be more at ease in terms of the pressures on them as a student and as an athlete,” McGeorge said.

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