Failure Breeds BASIC Success

From our partners at the American Baseball Foundation:

“The problem . . . is that the best way for a young person to build character is for him to attempt something where there is a real and serious possibility of failure. In a high-risk endeavor, whether it’s in business or athletics or the arts, you are more likely to experience colossal defeat than in a low-risk one—but you’re also more likely to achieve real and original success.”   How Children Succeed Paul Tough p. 85
In the ABF’s BASIC program under-served children succeed and fail repeatedly over the course of the day.  Many of the successes are in fact original as they begin to dominate a new sports skill such as serving the volleyball.  These the children already know failure given adverse family situations. It’s the repeated successes after the failures that build their character.  Perseverance engenders the notion, “Never Give Up”.  The internalization of this trait has become a concrete goal for our children. 
Tabitha is a shining example. Participating in the ABF after-school school program for two years, she regularly wins tickets for reading comprehension. Her deformed right hand however has made it painfully difficult for her to hit the bat.  She recently switched to hit on her left side and now clobbers the ball using the one good hand on the bat—“real and original success”.

American Baseball Foundation Christmas Wish List

From our partners at the ABF:

In the spirit of the season, a number of not-for-profit organizations will notify its clients, donors, supporters of the organization’s “wish list”. As in past eras of writing to Santa Claus, the would-be recipients prioritize their needs and request donations such as cars, computers, software and other goods that usually are in short supply in the not-for-profit world. I have never assessed whether their efforts bear Christmas fruit, but the concept does inspire me to make the ABF ‘s list.
All fathers and mothers read to their children before and after birth, continuing the habit into all formative school years
All fathers and mothers talk to their children on a range of subjects, even though the child is too young too reply.
Families ration the use of any and all computer and hand-held games
Families seek out recreational and sports outlets for their children. Keep them moving.
Families purchase math-related games that children can enjoy and from which they can benefit.
Families seek out simple biographies of famous persons who have overcome difficulties to achieve great heights in their fields of endeavor. 
This is a selfish wish list. The ABF desires that all its students experience the joy of reading & math and the joy of movement in sports this Christmas and throughout their lives.  Then BASIC will be even more fun.

From our partner, American Baseball Foundation

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge
30th president of US (1872 – 1933
Sport teaches persistence and perseverance. One must repeat over and over again the fundamentals of a movement or technique to master it. Once mastered the technique is employed against an opponent who many times wins the individual battle for the ball, the finish line or the baton. Immediately upon defeat the athlete must adjust the technique and persist to master the nuanced movement.
The ABF BASIC program preaches and teaches perseverance to its young charges not only on the playing field but also in the classroom. Paraphrasing a recent NCAA radio public service announcement for collegiate athletes, the spot says, You can’t identify me by my race, skin tone, height, weight or gender. So only judge me by my drive and competitiveness. “Drive” means perseverance. Persist in the technique, refine the technique and persist once again. Adjust and persist as many times as necessary in order to win each battle over an opponent.   Then employ that character trait in one’s studies so that the athlete is prepared to contribute to her/his community as one of the 99% of university athletes who don’t play professional sports.

Over the last twenty years the ABF has persevered in improving its BASIC program to make it more effective in attaining reading and math among under-served children.   For almost that entire time Publix Super Markets Charities has persevered as a partner by donating funds for BASIC program implementation. Publix Super Markets Charities has invested in the Central Alabama community through BASIC knowing that strong communities are made up of individuals who never give up.
BASIC Sponsors & Partners 2017
Vulcan Materials Company * Academy Sports & Outdoors * The Belk Foundation* Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham * The Daniel Foundation * Better Basics Inc * Birmingham Barons LLC * Dick’s Sporting Goods * Caring Foundation of BCBS of AL * Publix Super Markets Charities * Jugs Inc. * Children’s Fresh Air Farms * SAIL Consortium * Jerome Mileur * Charles T. Campbell Charitable Foundation * Hamburger Heaven * Davenport’s Pizza * Donato’s Pizza *Hispanic Ministry St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church* SJN McDonalds* Tecala Companies * Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation * * CAWACO RC&D Council * Honda Motor Manufacturing of Alabama * Vickie Ross * Michael Brown *Minor League Baseball * Tom Scarritt * Garrett Sutton* Steve Folven * Robert Smith* Doug Smith * Mt. Brook Sporting Goods * Wells Fargo Bank* Alabama Power Foundation * Susan & Wyatt Haskell * Baden Sports * United Way of Central Alabama * Redmond Hogan * Neil McFadden * McConnel, White & Terry * Luke Dunn * HealthSouth Corporation * Birmingham School System * Hudson K 8 School * Hillcrest Foundation, Inc. * UAB Benevolent Fund* North Alabama Conference, The United Methodist Church * Regions Bank* Suzanne & Mike Graham * Morgan & Susan Eiland * Rich Stephens * Gary Kepplinger
There is still time to partner with the ABF for implementation of a BASIC program in your city. The ABF offers free teacher training in the first two weeks of May 2017 for partners who desire to have their students make gains in reading and math as they learn persistence.  Contact:

Partner with American Baseball Foundation

We want to share this press release from one of our partners, The American Baseball Foundation. We’d love it if word spread about their tremendously valuable program.

The American Baseball Foundation Inc. welcomes inquiries regarding summer 2017 partnerships for its BASIC program that “tricks” the students into reading and math gains through sport. In its twentieth year BASIC offers an array of grade specific biographies that bring to life the character traits of successful professional athletes. Math is made practical through manipulation of players’ statistics and through games related to math applied to sports. Students enjoy fast-paced movement every 50 minutes from the sports fields to the sport-related classroom during the 6.5-hour day. The BASIC curriculum covers four to five weeks of academic instruction.
BASIC’s Partnership:
Curriculum provides approximately 300 academic and sports lessons.
Structure has a rotation every 50 minutes from sports to academics. A 40- minute common time after lunch provides team building with non-cognitive skills addressed
Provide STAFF training that is mandatory for all staff involved with BASIC.
Assist in program quality control
Requires pre and post STAR testing in math and reading
Employ professional teaching staff to teach BASIC curriculum (reading, math, sports and intervention).
Offer classrooms with computer capabilities for STAR testing and educational aids.
Provide and maintain outdoor open space with gymnasium use available
Participate in program quality assurance as related to instruction and program evaluation
Sign partnership agreement related to use of BASIC curriculum.
Use BASIC curriculum and methodology
For more information regarding BASIC partnerships, contact David Osinski 205-558-4235;

Jim Rice headlines American Baseball Foundation Dinner

Our partner, the American Baseball Foundation, held their annual banquet and Hall of Famer Jim Rice was the star. From the ABF Press Release:

Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Jim Rice riveted Central Alabama baseball enthusiasts as he recounted his sixteen-year, Major League career. Noting that even though he played both basketball and football better than baseball in his native Anderson, South Carolina, he eventually opted for baseball for the potential length of career and by virtue of having been chosen in the 1st round of the 1971 amateur draft.

Jim attributed his success in hitting through having developed the ability to hit with home run power to all fields. He added that to be a good hitter at the highest level, the athlete had to been able to hit “bad” pitches, that is pitches that were thrown in difficult locations to hit. He stated that his ability to work diligently on the practice field until all had abandoned it was a key to his success.

Jim was introduced by ex MLB first baseball and Birmingham resident, Jack Baker. Jack had played with Jim in the minor leagues. He noted that Jim had excelled at all levels, denoting to his fellow athletes that he was destined to become a major league star.

Contact the American Baseball Foundation at


Support the American Baseball Foundation

One of our partners, American Baseball Foundation, is putting on an event that is sure to be fun for all:

American Baseball Foundation’s 16th Annual Lead Off Dinner featuring Hall of Famer Jim Rice.  Please make plans to donate and attend the Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 event.
$1200-Gold Sponsor
Table for 8 in priority seating area
2 Tickets to VIP Cocktail Party
Name/Logo recognition in event program,
 all marketing materials and social media
$750-Bronze Sponsor
Tickets for four
2 Tickets to VIP Cocktail Party
Name/Logo recognition in event program
Individual Tickets $150
Please call or contact the ABF at:  205-558-4235;;
Recently the ABF received a high compliment as one of the monitors for the after-school program mentioned that our enrichment period was the punishment for misbehavior. That is the child cannot attend if she/he breaks the rules.   Why do the children value our reading/sports visits that take place weekly throughout the school year? Because they are fun!   Everything is a game!
Two hop scotch groups vie with each to use the site words that they have just jumped through to make human sentences before the opposition by lining up in sentence order one word per student.
Combining site words and catching a ball, students contribute to their teams by recognizing the site word (one point) and catching the ball (one point).
At the end of the reading period, students form one group to answer questions regarding the reading in order to move on to the sports period of the lesson.
Students play “Stump the Coach” by forming teams that ask the coach questions related to the book being read.   The team that poses the most difficult questions wins achievement tickets.
Students add and subtract teams’ points to win achievement tickets between baseball/softball half innings.
Teams compete for tickets as they rotate through the three aspects of baseball/softball—hitting, running and fielding.
 Wouldn’t you like some fun after sitting in school all day and then being ushered into the after-school program to be supervised for the two hours before pick up? Wouldn’t you maintain best behavior in order to experience BASIC?

American Baseball Foundation

One of our newest advertisers in our OnDeck Newsletter, The American Baseball Foundation, is among the worthiest of causes we’ve ever encountered. Check out this review of what they do on Sports Product Review. If you’re looking for a great organization to support, if you love kids and sports, this is the one for you.