Out of the park: NHS assists special needs children in playing baseball


Rebecca Cantrell

Seniors Briana Anderson and Rachel Hunt cheer their buddy from second base as he hits a double

Rebecca Cantrell, Reporter

For the past month, National Honor Society (NHS) members volunteered at Horizon League baseball games at Kennworth Park. The league focuses on allowing special needs children to have fun and increase teamwork skills with other children in similar situations.

NHS members attended the game to support the children and serve as their monthly community service project. Players picked two NHS members as their buddies; members ran the bases with the children, assisted them while they played in the outfield, and encouraged them during the one hour game.

Due to overbooking volunteers, however, not all the members paired up with a Horizon League player. The extra members stood in the outfield and tossed the ball to players.

Seniors Ben Chandler and Will Willis run behind their buddy. The boy ran to third base after his teammate hit a single.
Rebecca Cantrell
Seniors Ben Chandler and Will Willis run behind their buddy. The boy ran to third base after his teammate hit a single.

“My experience with the Horizon League was incredible; I love the atmosphere they provide for all the kids and volunteers. I also loved working with my kid. He was so fun and so willing to play and have fun,” senior Rachel Hunt said.

For ease, the League did not keep score and the players could not strike out. These rules encouraged teamwork and urged players to try their best.

“I thought it was cool how all you saw was all of the kids laughing and smiling and finding a way to use their energy outside. Then you saw their partners running around with [the kids] and laughing and smiling,” senior Binal Desai said.

Players and volunteers alike cheered and encouraged each hit and miss. They also provided a welcoming and safe environment for the team.

“[The game] was a great way to get out in the community and see what organizations like Horizon is doing,” senior Josh Joines said. “I would totally do it again because I enjoyed working with the kids and watching them have a ball.”

The game ended with smiles and cheers. Both teams lined up and gave each other high fives and congratulated each other on a good game.