Softball Canada is extremely pleased to be working with the Jays Care Foundation to make the sport of softball more inclusive and accessible across the country. This relationship includes the Affiliate School Program, Top of the First initiative and the League Finder.
Jays Care Foundation's vision is to create a level playing field for all children and youth across Canada. We know that educators across Canada are facing many challenges this year and many children in your classrooms are stepping up to the plate with two strikes already against them. We use the power of sport and play to co-create reliable programming for children and youth who are most often left out. Our programs cater to self-identified girls, youth with disabilities, Indigenous youth, incarcerated youth, and youth facing poverty.
The Jays Care Foundation Affiliate School program is an award-winning program catered towards children and youth facing barriers, inluding, but not limited to, girls, youth with physical or cognitive disabilities, Indigenous youth and youth facing poverty.
Schools that are interested in running this program can apply through the Jays Care Foundation website to receive a specialized equipment kit, Blue Jays t-shirts and hats for students, a best-in-class program manual, and we’ll be there to support you every step of the way. It’s really that easy!
Top of the First is the first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certification Program for coaches, administrators, programmers, and adult volunteers developed by the Toronto Blue Jays, Jays Care Foundation, Anima Leadership, and Dr. Janelle Joseph.
This certification program offers a combination of training, tools, and professional development credits to coaches, league administrators, officials, and adult volunteers. This program equips participants with clear action plans, tools, and enhanced skills for creating more equitable, inclusive, and accessible programming.
What you’ll learn:
- How to start the process for diversifying your leagues and organizations
- How to look internally at your own systems and processes and understand your greatest gaps and best first steps
- How to increase your awareness and confidence in ways to create more inclusive and safe practices, games, workshops, and meetings for diverse populations
- Where to find local advocates or organizations that can provide information and support to overcome key barriers marginalized communities currently face
- Steps for updating and revising your program materials (emails, recruitment tools, handbooks, and advertisements) so they speak to a more diverse audience and uphold your values of equity