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FRONTLINE: Doing Good

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Team Effort

There are some things in life that can only be taught by a great coach. Enter Katie at the Bat, a year-old program that aims to improve the lives of inner city Philadelphia girls through athletics, fitness and health. “We provide an opportunity to take on a challenge and learn how to work with a team,” says founder Lisa Hoffstein, a Merion Station resident, University of Pennsylvania graduate and nationally ranked tennis player who’s participated in—and been inspired by—sports all her life.

Using the motivational framework of her 2005 children’s book, Katie at the Bat—a rewrite of the classic Casey at the Bat—as a launching point, Hoffstein is now working to inspire those coming of age under less fortunate circumstances. “Sports are just an entry point to reach children’s lives, and the program goes beyond sports,” she says.

Katie at the Bat is busy establishing new sports teams and athletic programs throughout Philadelphia with help from volunteers of all ages, among them Sarah Lowe, a former basketball star at Lower Merion High School and the University of Florida. Beyond coaching and training, “Katie’s Kids” have access to a range of services, from counseling and tutoring to college application assistance, nutritional advice and more.

Though the organization is still in its infancy, Hoffstein is optimistic. “I want to continue being around girls who are so deserving,” she says.

For more information on Katie at the Bat, call (610) 667-5737 or visit thekatieatthebatteam.org.

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