Major League Baseball, Target Corp (NYSE: TGT) and PEOPLE recently announced that Washington Nationals fans Sabrina Hayden, Jessica Valoris and Chad Wright are the team's finalists in the "Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" campaign, which celebrates remarkable current and retired teachers who make an impact on the lives of their students and communities. The three finalists will visit Nationals Park next Tuesday, June 17 to take part in the pregame ceremony before the Nationals take on the Houston Astros. Fans have until June 29 to visit AllStarTeachers.com to vote on their favorite finalist stories.
One winner from each of the 30 MLB Clubs will be included in All-Star Week activities and recognized during the pregame ceremony of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game on FOX. An "All-Star Teacher" winner will also be featured in 'PEOPLE' during the week of the MLB All-Star Game.
Nationals fan and special education teacher Sabrina Hayden of Washington, D.C., is a pioneer when it comes to developing programs that benefit children in low-income communities. A single mom to a nine-year-old son and an educator for more than eight years, Sabrina fully understands the importance of providing high quality education to students with and without disabilities. In 2007, she founded the nonprofit First Impressions Enterprises, which focuses on girls mentoring, health education and providing STEM opportunities to minority youth. Most recently, Sabrina wrote a grant for a program called Youth Ambassadors, which will help educate children about the harmful effects of tobacco, and she established a "Saturday School" called the Hayden Academy this past May.
From a family of loyal Nationals fans, Jessica Valoris of Brooklyn, N.Y., is both a team player and a leader within her community. After attending Eugene Lang College in New York City on a full scholarship, she turned her efforts toward empowering young people through arts and education. In her six years as a Resource Teacher, Jessica goes the extra mile to make sure students receive a well-rounded education both in and out of school. She works closely with other teachers to make sure the school curriculum is culturally relevant and inspires students to become involved with mural painting, poetry, music production and giving back to their community. She continues her work outside the classroom, facilitating creative projects at local recreation centers and with community-based organizations.
Chad Wright of Nokesville, Va., is a Nationals fan who has taught Government for 10 years and likes to think outside the box. He has invited Congressional candidates to speak to his classes and has also taken students to the Capitol to see Congress in action. During the 2012 presidential election, Chad set up a mock election at the school, which drew the attention of local papers. In addition, he encourages his students to get involved in activities outside the classroom and asks each of his students to complete 10 hours of community service as part of his class requirements. He focuses on bringing new technology into the classroom to help his students learn, and his passion for teaching extends to the entire world, as he challenges his students to learn as much as they can about other countries and cultures.
Target presents "PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" is just one part of Target, MLB and PEOPLE's effort to celebrate teachers and raise awareness about the importance of education this baseball season. MLB Legends have attended Target-hosted School Library Makeover events in MLB communities throughout the first half of the season including Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, Vinny Castilla, Ron Cey, Cliff Floyd, Luis Gonzalez, Tim Laudner, Gary Matthews, Tony Oliva, Harold Reynolds and Michael Young. Guests and fans can visit ABullsEyeView.com/Baseball for regular updates and behind-the-scenes access to campaign activities leading up to the All-Star Game.