Game Plan for Life

Speeches Shim

USAID is partnering with Major League Baseball in the Dominican Republic to promote reading and positive values to the country's youth.

Video Transcript 
USAID and Major League Baseball (MLB) partner in the Dominican Republic to promote literacy. I was so impressed when I arrived at the Quisqueya stadium. Back home I play with my friends in a backyard, with a ball made out of socks and a stick for a bat, and when I saw how they play here with gloves, balls and real bats, and seeing all those seats... My name is Erison Valera Frías. I am 15 years old and I live in San Cristóbal. San Cristóbal Dominican Republic My school is 20 minutes away. When it’s raining [the road] gets filled with mud, and everything gets ugly and our shoes get dirty, so we have to wear sandals and wash our feet once we get there. I like writing because I can express my feelings, my thoughts, and I can let others know about them. It’s my way of letting things out, of feeling happier. When I’m sad I write stories. Erison won a writing contest sponsored by Baseball Cares, a USAID/MLB partnership in the Dominican Republic. My story is called “Daniel, the baseball player who loved his school.” The message of my story is that parents have to understand that kids should be in school and educate themselves as well as playing baseball, that they can’t quit school because if they’re not educated they’re always halfway there. My family is very proud and happy I got recognized as a writer. Our work taps into a passion for baseball shared by Dominicans young and old. Baseball has taught me to respect my teammates and to work as a team. To me, visiting the Angelinos academy was very important because I learned a little more about batting, sharing as a team, developing my abilities. Vladimir Guerrero 2018 MLB Hall of Fame Inductee And it was so exciting that Vladimir Guerrero taught me how to bat. To me the most important thing is to finish school and then study a career, achieve my goals and show people that it can be done. Together, USAID and MLB are building self-reliance in the Dominican Republic by encouraging children to succeed on and off the ball field.