Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Sadie Maxwell, a fourth-grade student at Rock Springs Elementary School, tried to get the attention of the Jumbotron camera on Monday morning during the Gwinnett Braves game.
LAWRENCEVILLE — Chuck Gork took his stepson to the Gwinnett Braves game Monday, the first of what he hopes to be many trips to the ballpark this summer.
But Monday’s game was different. The game was a classroom for Connor Sullivan on a field trip along with hundreds of other kids at Coolray Field’s Belk Education Days.
“I thought it would be really cool,” Connor, a fourth-grader at J.C. Magill Elementary, said of the 10:35 a.m. game, adding that he never thought of the trip as an educational experience. “No, but it would be fun.”
As Ansley Boles, a fifth-grader from Rock Springs Elementary, cheered on the Braves on Monday, she wasn’t thinking about math and science.
“It didn’t seem like this would be school related. I thought it would be fun,” she said.
But her teacher, Gary Augst, said he had a few lesson plans, furnished by the team, to reinforce in class this week.
Batting averages, he said, will be a good way to talk about the practical applications of averages to the students.
Wilkin Ramirez was 3-for-3. That’s 100 percent for the day. And there is pitcher Rodrigo Lopez’s ERA to talk about.
Another lesson comes when kids paid for their popcorn and peanuts, making change with the vendors.
“They can see what went on at the ballpark and how it relates,” Augst said. “It’s not just a fun day out.”
Michael Holmes joined his son Patrick and other special-education students from Peachtree Ridge High School.
Teacher Jerad Harris said the lesson for special-education students is about learning how to interact in a public setting and doing things like getting their own food.
“For our students, part of being in the community is a big thing,” he said.
Holmes said his 15-year-old son was having fun.
“It is the love of public and sports,” he said. “I think it’s an awesome field trip.”
Education Days are also scheduled at the field for Wednesday and Aug. 23. Tickets are $5 per person for all participating groups and optional $5 meal packages are available. The first pitch is scheduled for 10:35 a.m. for each of the games.
“The Gwinnett Braves have a strong reputation for community involvement and their efforts to support the Gwinnett County schools and surrounding school systems have been tremendous,” said Dave Pendrod, chairman of the Belk Inc. Southern Division, which sponsored the event. “Education is a key focus of our community initiatives at Belk, and we’re excited to be a partner with the Braves in bringing the Belk Education Days to area schools.”