More than 3,000 sixth-graders welcomed to campus Tuesday for sixth-annual event

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University played host to more than 3,000 sixth-graders from 34 local schools at the sixth-annual “Columbus City Schools Baseball Day” event Tuesday on its Columbus campus. Despite a rained-out baseball game, the students were still treated to a pep rally at the Jerome Schottenstein Center and lunch provided by the Children’s Hunger Alliance.

In six years, this was the first baseball game to be cancelled. The contest between Ohio State and Pittsburgh was called seven minutes after the first pitch was to be thrown because of continuing rain in the area.

“CCS Baseball Day” is designed to show young students the opportunities and advantages of higher education and the importance of staying in school. It is one of many collaborations between Ohio State and Columbus City Schools.

Following performances by the Ohio State pep band and cheerleaders and video greetings by the Buckeye baseball team to welcome each school, the program began at 10:30 a.m. when staff members of Ohio State’s Army ROTC rappelled from the ceiling into the arena and welcomed the students. Staff from COSI then entertained the crowd with science experiments.

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Gene Harris introduced the district’s newest inductees into Ohio State’s Young Scholars Program, a statewide initiative to prepare students from underserved urban school districts for college.

Also among the day’s speakers were Danielle Orr, a CCS product who is now attending Ohio State, and Janelle Brunswick, a nutritionist from Sodexo who encouraged the students to “Think Your Drink.”

Concluding the education pep rally was Buckeye football senior Cameron Heyward. He talked about the value of hard work he applies both on the field and in the classroom and cheered on the students to keep achieving in school.