For over 30 years Dr. Barbara Torre Veltri's passion for sports and education has positively impacted kids and schools. Her original methods, products and teacher training in Dr. V's unique niche as the "Teach with sports" professor. Dr. V believes in reaching kids through their teachers with proven methods and materials that reach kids and develop their academic skill sets through sports-themed curriculum. Her credibility as a curriculum specialist, professor, teacher educator, consultant and author (she wrote and designed 15 student and teacher products) earned her reputation as the "teach with baseball education professor" during her first audience at an MLB-sponsored program in Philadelphia, when a doubting participant (Sr. J from a suburban Catholic School) asked , "Are you really a teacher? You never know with the ball clubs." She replied, "Sister, let me know after we're done." Her specific strategies engaged teachers of Math, Reading, Social Studies, and Physical Education, through a teammate teaching philosophy and ready-to-implement content. Dr. Veltri coached, mentored and instructed over 4,000 rookie and veteran teachers at universities in CT, TX, NY, AZ and, Italy and 2,000 more through team and district-sponsored professional development seminars to teach with this centers-based, interdisciplinary, teammate teaching approach. Dr. Veltri, associate professor (emerita), earned her doctoral degree from Arizona State University. Powerhitter® Classroom was offered for graduate and undergraduate course credit for both Elementary and Special Education teachers, including successive cohorts of Teach For America 4-8th/SPED teachers at ASU and Manhattanville College, NY where practicum credit was for SPED and ELL teacher candidates who coached teams of "players" during summer enrichment programs to boost student achievement at Title I schools and support English Language Learners. Dr. Veltri holds teacher certification (N-6 CT/NY) and 7-12 Social Studies (NY). Dr. Veltri owns the copyright for 15 educational products and 8 USPTO trademarks including the Powerhitter® and Sportsballkids® brand, and powerhitter.com and sportsballkids.com
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In 1993, Leonard Coleman, Major League Baseball's Director of Marketing and future president of the National League, asked Barbara, "How do we reach the kids?" Her immediate response, "You reach the kids through their teachers." Major League Baseball hired Dr. V to present her original baseball-themed educational seminars to educators at stadiums in both AL and NL leagues where she covered the academic bases: Literacy, Numeracy, Data Analysis, Geography, Social Studies, Economics, Critical Thinking, Nutrition, Science & Researching. Her methods were a hit! Soon, the BRAVES, METS, MARINERS, ORIOLES, PHILLIES, PIRATES, ROCKIES, and TWINS hired her to present her original seminars for educators at their ballparks, with generous sponsorship from BIC, ADVANTA, RYDER, PEMCO, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, PIRATES FOUNDATION, and others. She presented Power Hitter® Game Day at the MLB All-Star Game and contributed an original math literacy activity for Sharon Robinson's "Breaking Barriers" project, honoring her father, Jackie Roosevelt Robinson, published by Scholastic.
Power Hitter® sports-themed curriculum was developed out of necessity while teaching all-boys in Greenwich, CT. Mrs. "V" noted two students engaging in a baseball card trade. They were bored and disinterested with the standard curriculum.Michael M. (currently, an international investment banker based in the UK) snagged a prize card of a future Hall-of-Famer. Mrs. V asked him to return the card to the owner, as it wasn't a fair trade. He retorted, "You're a girl, what do you know about baseball? After the initial shock of stereotyping by her own students, Mrs. V pulled every sports book off the shelves of the local library and decided to teach, enrich, remediate, and assess skills and concepts across every subject area - with baseball. Her strategies worked: students were motivated, acquired skills, retained content, understood abstract concepts, collaborated with teammates (peers), boosted achievement and attendance and had fun in the process. Power Hitter® Classroom hits rigorous academic standards and offers an 'an assist' as teacher/managers develop a roster of player's names into their team.