PINEVILLE, La (LC) Eight Louisiana College baseball payers had the opportunity on Tuesday to visit with school children at the Rapides Training Academy in Pineville. The Rapides Training Academy (RTA) is a unique public school that offers learning programs for autistic and mentally disabled students in the area. They serve students ages 6 to 22, most with mental ages of 12 months to 5 years.
Players Austin Taylor, Carson Bolyer, Austin Thompson, Phillip Vidrine, Kevin Mahl, Andrew Robinson, Danny Wells, and Connor Alston were able to spend time with the students during their classes and engage with them in one on one interaction.
Louisiana College baseball pitching coach and teacher at Rapides Training Academy, Stuart Morgan, thought that a visit from the LC players would be a perfect fit for the week's topic.
Morgan said, "The theme for the week at RTA was World Series so I thought it would be neat if some of our players could come over and spend some time with the students and interact with them. The students were receptive and the players all seemed to enjoy getting to know them. I think it's important, and so do our players that are given so much with their abilities, to give back to our local community. We always welcome the opportunity to provide any type of community service, and this was the perfect fit."
Senior pitcher Austin Taylor enjoyed his chance to visit with the students, "It was a fun opportunity to get to meet the kids at Coach Stuart's school. Being able to interact in the community like this makes you realize that there is more to just playing a simple sport. I would definitely do this again if the opportunity presented itself."
"It was truly a blessing to have them visit," RTA Principal Deidra Anderson said. "In our News-2-You curriculum, current events literacy, we are talking about the World Series. One of the teachers asked about some of the team members coming by to interact with the students. I love when the students are exposed to the community. I truly hope that their visit this week helps our student connect to the literacy lessons presented as we 'Embrace the Amazing' daily."
The Louisiana College baseball team hosts an annual game at Billy Allgood Field to support Autism Awareness. They invite kids from across the area to enjoy the game and run out on the field with the players during the pre game introductions. This year the Wildcats will hold their Autism Awareness Day game on April 8, at 12 pm against the University of Texas at Tyler.