Putting on his teaching cap and grabbing for a ruler, Professor Sluggerrr is pulling up the chalkboard and getting ready to help lead another important school lesson in Kansas City's biggest classroom.
The Royals scholarly, yet often goofy, mascot will join Mike Thompson, chief meteorologist, and the entire Weather Team from FOX 4 WDAF-TV for the ninth annual "School Day at the K" on Thursday, May 10.
Started in 1999, School Day has become a Royals tradition, bringing in more than 13,000 students to spend a day at Kauffman Stadium. Conducting the largest "live weather" class in the nation, the Royals and FOX 4 join forces to present the Emmy-award winning weather presentation "Weathering the Storm."
"The Royals are pleased to be able to again have the opportunity to mix baseball with an educational field trip for students," said Scott Wadsworth, the Royals director of group sales. "FOX 4 and their Weather Team have helped create a tradition that Kansas City can truly be proud of."
The morning weather presentation highlights Kansas City-area weather conditions, focusing on severe storms and tornadoes and the affect those conditions have on the environment we live in. The program uses a series of special effects, skits and a simulated baseball game to present the meteorology lesson in an entertaining method. It turns an educational field trip into a fun day at the ballpark. The lesson is geared toward helping area youth learn about the often harsh and unpredictable weather patterns found in the Midwest region. The event features several personalities from the station and at least one player from the Royals. For the past several School Days, FOX 4's Nick Vasos and his pilot have landed their SKYFOX helicopter on centerfield. They plan to do the same this year, weather permitting.
Students and staff from their schools have a chance after the hour-long weather lesson to meet the FOX 4 Weather Team in the sports complex parking lot. Everyone is invited to march in a parade around the Kauffman Stadium warning track before the students settle back into their seats for the 1:10 p.m. game against the Oakland Athletics.
"This is a program we hope will continue for years to come," added Wadsworth. "We are happy to see so many other Major League teams use our event as the model for their own School Day program."
Inspired by the Royals and FOX 4, at least 15 other Major League Baseball teams hold similar programs in their home ballparks. The Royals hope to top last year's record number of nearly 14,000 students and teachers by setting a goal of 17,000 people this year.
Starting now, schools can begin signing up their classes for the 2007 "School Day at the K" event by contacting Royals Group Sales at (816) 504-4474 or emailing SchoolDay@royals.com