An Inspiring Day at Citi Field Stadium

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citi field kids, group shotIt’s not every day that I take my kids to see the Mets without my husband. Actually, I’ve never taken my kids to a baseball stadium without their dad, but all that changed yesterday when we were invited by Citi Field and the Mets to participate in a special program they’ve kicked off at the ballpark called Citi Field Kids. Citi Field Kids is an educational and motivational community based initiative for New York City school students developed by Citi in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, United Neighborhood Houses, and the Mets. The program kicked off on April 15th in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s annual Jackie Robinson Day, and we were lucky enough to experience the fifth installment along with over 200 elementary, middle and high school children.
As soon as we arrived, all the kids received complimentary t-shirts and we were then introduced to Heather Cannady, a Jackie Robinson scholar who graduated Magna Cum Laude from NYU and then went on to Harvard University where she earned her law degree. Heather, who got the chance to pursue her dreams because of a Jackie Robinson scholarship, guided us into the rotunda where we all learned about the life and legacy of the baseball legend. What impressed me most about the rotunda (which incidentally is a replica of Brooklyn’s famed Ebbet’s Field) was the photo gallery of Jackie Robinson adorning the walls as well as Robinson’s inspiring message about having the power within ourselves to make a difference: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
Along with the impressive photos chronicling Robinson’s life, the rotunda also showcases nine values embodied by the legendary ball player, including courage, integrity, determination, persistence, citizenship, justice, commitment, teamwork and excellence.
DSCN2767.JPGOnce the kids posed for a group photo on the majestic steps of the rotunda, we were then brought to an auditorium where former 1969 Mets World Series champion, Ed Charles shared why Jackie Robinson was a personal role model to him. Charles fondly recalls watching Jackie Robinson in action during spring training and as a result, he became determined to pursue his personal dream of making it in the major leagues. Heather also shared the story of how the Jackie Robinson scholarship enabled her to achieve her academic goals – attending NYU and Harvard University Law School – the same program attended by President Obama.
DSCN2796.JPGThe presentation also included videos of Jackie Robinson and the Amazing 1969 Mets as well as a rags to riches story by the event host, who, despite the odds, reinvented his career late in life and is now living his dream as a television sportscaster.
Next, we learned that one lucky 11 year old girl who is an avid ball player, was selected to throw out the first pitch of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals. And before we knew it, the session ended with a surprise visit by Mr. Met. The kids were then presented with a special Citi Field Kids knapsack that was chock full of goodies – from a baseball hat, to key chain, reporter notebook, and a book celebrating Jackie Robinson’s life. Of course, my two young charges wanted a little something extra, so I splurged for two Mr. Met dolls.
After the kids used their complimentary gift cards for hot dogs, soda and Carvel ice cream, it was time to watch the game. And I have to say, even though I’m admittedly a fair weather fan, it was pretty exciting to spend a day with my kids in the brand new Citi Field stadium. The Mets’ bats were on fire, with David Wright hitting a home run, a brand new player having his very first career hit and the team scoring an amazing nine runs and shutting out the Cardinals 9-0.
As the day drew to a close, it was truly a perfect afternoon. Having the opportunity to witness hundreds of kids be inspired by true role models who were doing what they love is an amazing opportunity that is sure to have a profound impact on their young lives. And it all began with Jackie Robinson – whose legacy will forever be etched in history, as the man who bridged the divide and shattered racial barriers – paving the way for several generations of athletes and individuals to proudly walk in his footsteps.
And now, for some behind the scenes video from our incredibly memorable afternoon!

An Inspiring Day at Citi Field Stadium from Beth Feldman on Vimeo.

The Find’s Fave of the Week

Inspire Young French Chefs with “You’ve Got Recipes: A cookbook for a lifetime”
As a mother with a school-age daughter, one of my primary goals since her birth is to provide healthy nutritious meals as well as expose her to many foods and flavors from around the world. We are blessed to live in San Francisco with a plethora of options for locally grown organic produce as well as restaurants and markets from almost every corner of the earth.
Recently we were invited to a friend’s house for a book signing of a new children’s cookbook titled, “You’ve Got Recipes: A cookbook for a lifetime”. The culinary adventure is the illustrated tale of a Parisian mouse Sophie Souris and couple of San Francisco raccoons named Cleo and Henry who correspond via email and share recipes in a unique culinary cultural exchange. Authored by Jerry Di Vecchio and Francoise Dudal Kirkman. Jerry is a former Food Editor at Sunset for over four decades and Francoise is a French-born and Paris trained artist who was a Sunset Magazine art director. Growing up in Northern California my parents were and still are avid readers of Sunset and we often attended the annual open house in Menlo Park, California. I have fond memories of the beautiful test kitchens and sunny Spanish architecture of the grounds there, so I was thrilled to meet Jerry and Francoise!
The book is suited for 7 to 14 year-olds and teaches in bilingual text the basics of French cooking techniques, rules of the kitchen (r├ęgles de base). As my daughter is also enrolled in a French immersion program I as eager to jump right in and begin cooking recipes from the book and I’m always up for new recipes as well. All of the recipes in “You’ve Got Recipes” are everyday comfort food dishes and are perfect for kids (and moms!) who love to cook. Recipes include: Poulet Roti, Carottes et Pommes de Terre, Pizza Croustillante, Pan Bagnat, Croque-Monsieur, Sandwich Paresseux, and many others. I can always use some help in the kitchen making use of my Le Creuset pots and this book is one way to inspire my child with the creativity of global cuisine .

August 11: Family Play Day With Kool-Aid & KaBOOM!



Date: Tuesday, August 11th
Time: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Location: Studio 450
450 West 31st Street #12
New York, NY 10001
Special Guest appearance by KOOL-Aid Man
Each family will receive a photo session by renowned celebrity family photographer Jade Albert, ( images will be digitally available post-event for invitations, holiday cards or any photography need.
*Host a KaBOOM! Play Day and be a hero to the kids in your community! Between Sept. 19-27, 2009, thousands of communities across the U.S. will host free, fun-for-the-whole-family events that celebrate play and demonstrate the importance of play in children’s development. Plan your event with our free planner tool and you could receive a free Play Day kit. Register today at:!
KaBOOM!. It starts with a playground.