life-enhancing lessons that come from engaging in athletics and recreational activities.
The Kernels Summer Reading Program celebrated its 24th Anniversary in 2021! The Kernels Summer Reading Program is designed to help encourage students to stay engaged in their education outside the classroom. Reading program scorecards are where students can find directions on how to participate and track their minutes. Just like baseball, students must make their way around the bases to hit a home run in the Kernels Summer Reading Program. To keep everybody motivated to read, we have prizes at each base (benchmark) along the way.
For many years, students in the Cedar Rapids metro and surrounding communities have enjoyed having visits from the Kernels players and our beloved mascot Mr. Shucks to talk about the importance of reading. After 20+ years of the program, we are now hearing from parents who participated as children now have their own kids reading in the Kernels Summer Reading Program. Thank you to presenting sponsor Toyota Financial Services for sponsoring our reading program from day one. We couldn't do this without you!
Catch with a Cop Program
The Cedar Rapids Kernels partnered with the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Jane Boyd Community House and Kids on Course University in 2017 to create a new youth program called "Catch with a Cop".
Branching from the success of "Coffee with a Cop", we wanted to connect the youth of Cedar Rapids to local police officers to start a positive and engaging relationship with a simple game of catch! With the help of community leaders such as Megan Isenberg from Jane Boyd, Amy Evans from Kids on Course and Shannon Sampson from the Cedar Rapids Police Department, "Catch with a Cop" entered it's second year with continued success!
Al Smith League of Dreams
The Al Smith League of Dreams is an instructional, non-competitive, coach-pitch league open to local 2nd and 3rd graders. With the help of Minor League Baseball, Perfect Game USA and Rawlings, we are able to provide almost 100 boys and girls a free baseball program. Some children in the "League of Dreams" may not have the means to play baseball, while others are playing for the first time ever.
In 2018, 11 elementary schools participated and played a total of 32 regular season games in the month of June. Despite 3 rainouts, the "League of Dreams" kids had a blast playing baseball and were later invited to a special All-Star game hosted at Veterans Memorial Stadium. All the kids got the wonderful opportunity to play on the same field as the Kernels! Their families were invited to cheer and were served free food, free drinks and were given a free ticket to a Kernels game all thanks to the Kernels Foundation.
Nick Adenhart Memorial Scholarship
Nick Adenhart was a bright young pitcher who played for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2006, and was a rising star in the Los Angeles Angels organization. Only hours after Nick's 2009 season debut on the mound for the Angels a drunk driver killed him tragically at the age of 22. Nick's family continues to honor him with the awarding of two $1,000 scholarships in his memory. The Kernels Foundation is privileged to administer the scholarships on behalf of Nick's family.
Home Run for Hunger
First Federal Credit Union and the Cedar Rapids Kernels created the "Home Run for Hunger" program in 2017 which is a collaborative initiative to support the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP) Food Reservoir.
Volunteers from First Federal Credit Union and the Cedar Rapids Kernels visited 7 farmers' markets over the summer and collected 3,420 pounds of food from local vendors for HACAP's food reservoir.
In two years, "Home Run for Hunger" has collected over 7,000 pounds of food for people in our community fighting hunger every day. The food collected is distributed right away to 7 surrounding counties and has been used in programs such as "Meals on Wheels". For the second year in a row, First Federal Credit Union and the Cedar Rapids Kernels were awarded "Best Partnership in 2018" by HACAP.
The Kernels Foundation Grant
The Kernels Foundation benefits area youth by supporting nonprofit groups and organizations that effectively and efficiently serve youth through sports activities and programs, baseball instructional leagues, and equipment and facilities engaged in providing that support in the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Waterloo Bucks fan-base geographical areas.
All grant applications must be submitted in accordance with the Grant Application form and accompanied by sufficient supporting documentation (including photographs or illustrations) to enable The Kernels Foundation to clearly understand the entire project.