Dr. Barbara Torre Veltri, Professor, Author, and Creator of Power Hitter® and Sportsballkids® programs.
In 1993, Major League Baseball's Director of Marketing and future president of the National League, Leonard Coleman, asked Barbara Torre Veltri, "How do we reach the kids?" She responded, "You reach the kids through their teachers."
She was hired by Major League Baseball and MLB teams (Braves, Mets, Mariners, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Rockies, and Twins) to create educational seminars for audiences of teachers on-site at ballparks, and math and literacy materials for their students, to reach future generations of baseball fans. Sponsorship included BIC, ADVANTA, RYDER, and MLB.
Dr. Veltri developed her sports-themed curriculum out of necessity. While teaching at an all-boys school, she noticed how her students were bored and disinterested with required curriculum. They even opted to trade baseball cards during one of her lessons. This incident made her famous. She told one student, who snagged a prize card of a future Hall-of-Famer, to return it, as it wasn't a fair trade. Outraged, her student retorted, "You're a girl, what to you know about baseball?"
Well, that afternoon, she decided it was time to use baseball to teach every subject and hit the academic standards, in the process. Her strategies worked: students were motivated, acquired skills, retained content, understood concepts that transferred to testing situations, and the result was higher assessment scores.
Soon, she was presenting her Powerhitter® seminars to teachers across the country from Seattle, Washington to Stamford, Connecticut and students gave her sports-themed, original curriculum "high fives! " Teachers and administrators wanted curriculum, student materials and summer program enrichment packages to boost Math/Literacy. She created mini booklets for Pro and College youth giveaways, and Football and Basketball content!
Dr. Veltri field-tested her program in public school districts in Scarsdale and Port Chester, NY and across Arizona.
Dr. Veltri, holds permanent certification (N-6 NY/CT and 7-12 Social Studies, NY), earned a doctorate from Arizona State University, and teaches curriculum courses to her university students. She was named to the U.S. Fulbright Association education specialist roster through 2020.
The program's trademarked sports-based characters: Stitches® (Baseball), Laces® (Football), Hoops and Hooplee ® (Basketball cousins); and Kicks and Kicklee (Soccer) engage children of all ages and are developmentally appropriate sports-themed mascots.
OUR GAME PLAN
1. Focus on today.
2. Be a dependable teammate.
3. Work towards your personal best.
4. Show up, ready to play.
(From Powerhitter® Classroom Teacher's manual) © 2004-2015 Barbara Torre Veltri, Ed. D)