Students in the Physical Education Strategies class at West Hartford’s Conard High School were given the opportunity to throw out pitches and yell ‘Play ball!’ at a Hartford Yard Goats game on Wednesday.
By Ronni Newton
Conard High School Physical Education teacher Kerrie Massaro said that a class trip Wednesday to the Hartford Yard Goats game was a positive experience for all involved.
The trip was for students in the Physical Education Strategies class, a one-semester class open to seniors who must be recommended before signing up. Massaro said that in the class, the seniors work with special education students.
“They play games, learn sports skills, work on their social interactions with the students,” said Massaro, who has been teaching the class at Conard for the past 14 years. She said that involvement in the class often leads the students to participate as “buddies” in the Unified Sports program.
A similar course is run at West Hartford’s Hall High School, she said.
The Yard Goats trip took place through the baseball team’s BIE (Baseball in Education) program, where select games are played at 10 a.m. on weekdays to encourage school field trips. Thirty people from Conard, including seven staff members, attended the game.
One of the highlights of the trip came before the game even started. Special education students Kemuel DeJesus and Kevin Bussey were given the opportunity to throw out the first pitches,
Student Roy Melhado was given the role of yelling “Play Ball!” to kick off the game.
Conard graduate Dana Feigenbaum, manager of promotions and social media for the Yard Goats, was able to get the Conard group some extra time on the field. Her sister, Maya, a senior, is a student in the strategies class and was on the trip.
Between the generous support of the Yard Goats, the administration, and the Conard PTO, “no one had to pay for anything,” Massaro said.
“I don’t think we could say enough good things about it,” Massaro said. “From start to finish, it was a great thing,” she said of the experience.
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