Oakland A’s pitch in again for Richmond; team funds Police Department’s youth summer program

A group of low-income Richmond students showed consistent academic progress and attendance this school year, and we think they deserve some summer fun.

The Oakland A’s are continuing to make investments in Richmond youths.

We told you about how the A’s funded the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Park baseball field in May, and also how star pitcher Sonny Gray stopped by a local elementary school to talk about science.

Now, the Richmond Police Department has announced that the A’s are paying to send a group of Crescent Park students who have done well in school on summer excursions.

The students are members of the Crescent Park Straight A’s Club, which was started three years ago by Richmond police Officer Gary Lewis to encourage youths in the Crescent Park Housing Community to excel. While the kids don’t need to have straight A’s on their report cards, they have to turn in quarterly report cards that show academic progress, improved attendance and good behavior at school to be eligible for summer excursions.

Originally, the Richmond Police Department hoped to raise funds for the kids’ summer trips through on online fundraising campaign. Unfortunately, not enough money was raised, and those who did contribute will have their donation returned, police officials said.

“However, the good news is that the Oakland Athletics heard about our efforts and have supported the college tour,” it was announced on the Police Department’s Facebook page. “Thank you to the Oakland A’s for supporting Richmond youth.”

The Athletics Community Fund funded the entire $3,600, which will go to support college tours, a fun trip and backpacks, and other incentives for the Straight A’s Club, said Michelle Milam, RPD’s crime prevention manager.

The youths will be sent on planned excursions at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford and other locations.  More than 70 kids are enrolled in the Straight A’s Club.