Summer Baseball Program for Harlem Youth
Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Summer Baseball Program for Harlem Youth<br/> 
Celebrates 40th Anniversary
						Photo: Harlem Little League
Players on the championship team from Columbia's 2007 summer baseball program

June 30, 2008

Columbia University has selected a local community-based organization, Harlem Little League, to manage its 2008 summer program for youths aged 8-16.


"We are pleased to be able to sponsor this important summer institution in our community," said Maxine Griffith, executive vice president for government and community affairs. "By partnering with Harlem Little League, we are continuing and strengthening an important program and celebrating 40 years in support of Harlem's young people."


Columbia's Office of Government and Community Affairs has managed the local baseball league since it was created in 1968 for Harlem children and teens seeking to participate in team sports during the summer. This year Columbia reached out to consider proposals from organizations in the community who have managed and operated other youth programs or sports leagues.


Harlem Little League, officially chartered by Little League Baseball, Inc., has become one of the community's best known youth sporting organizations, garnering national and international attention over the last two decades. With its motto of "Building Big League Citizens," the organization has received numerous awards for its work in the community.


"We are thrilled to be in partnership with Columbia University," said Jeanette Spencer, president of Harlem Little League. "Working together, we can make an important difference in shaping the lives of young people in our community, teaching them skills that will aid in their future growth and development."


This year's program will begin on Saturday, July 12, with teams named after the historic Negro League baseball teams.


"Columbia supports a wide range of programs designed to improve the lives of local young people," said Griffith. "From summer baseball, which provides for safe activity in Morningside Park, to our mobile dental lab that travels throughout Upper Manhattan providing free dental care for children and adults, to Double Discovery, which provides tutoring and mentoring to prepare local students for higher education, our goal is to always be a good partner and neighbor in the City we all call home."


To learn more about how Columbia University engages with the local community, visit


—Story by LaVenia LaVelle

© Columbia University