Children and Youth

2016 Junior Giants Registration On Deck

Free recreation program may expand to San Juan Bautista

As the weather warms, trees begin to blossom and local hillsides turn green, it feels like spring is in the air and Bay Area pro baseball teams head to Arizona this week to begin spring training. "Play Ball!"

That means that the 2016 Junior Giants registration is coming up soon. The free recreation program is hosted and sponsored by the San Benito County Police Activities League (PAL) which is a nonprofit organization that is supported by the City of Hollister, County of San Benito and San Benito County PAL Board.

Junior Giants, the flagship program of the San Francisco Giants' Community Fund, is a free, non-competitive and innovative baseball program for boys and girls ages 5-18 years old.

In 1994, the Fund sought a program that would give at-risk kids a meaningful partnership with community-based organizations and provide an alternative to drugs, gangs and crime. The Junior Giants program now reaches more than 22,000 children in 90 leagues across California and into Nevada and Oregon. The Community Fund provides all of the uniforms, equipment, and training necessary to run a league as well as tickets to select Giants games so the youth can experience a Major League Baseball game.

But more important than the fundamentals of baseball, Junior Giants focuses on the four bases of character development — confidence, integrity, leadership and teamwork – and offers programs in education, health and violence prevention. This framework is integrated into the Junior Giants handbook distributed to all of the kids and parents.

Local youngsters, with the volunteer help of their families, are invited to register to participate in the 2016 Junior Giants recreation program. There has also been interest from community leaders in San Juan Bautista to expand the popular, free recreation program to that community.

"It's honestly a very easy program to implement. We just need volunteers, kids and a place to play," said Hollister Police Chief David Westrick. Last year, more than 500 kids in Hollister participated in the free program with more than 300 kids signing up to receive new library cards and check out books at the county library to meet the goal of reading books; a component of the Junior Giants program. 

This year, the program will need as many parents as possible to help this season be a success. Parents and volunteers are asked to consider coaching (no experience required) or being a team parent, subject to routine background checks.

For more information, call (831) 636-4390, visit the SBC PAL Facebook page, or visit the league website here.





Michael Smith

Pro-economic growth, pro-music, pro-science, pro-retirement.