USAID and San Diego Padres a Winning Team for Education in Dominican Republic

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 29, 2009
USAID Press Office

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Through a unique public-private alliance, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) teamed up with the Major League Baseball-Dominican Development Alliance (MLB-DDA), and the San Diego Padres to donate $35,000 to the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral (IDDI) for basic education activities in Najayo, Dominican Republic Oct. 27.

The announcement was made by the U.S. Embassy to Santo Domingo's ad interim Chargé d'Affaires. Christopher Lambert and the San Diego Padres Associate Counsel Jeremy Horowitz.

"Education is an important asset for the economic development of any country" said Lambert. "To invest resources, time and effort in education is a sound investment."

Lambert also encouraged current Dominican baseball players, academies and baseball fans to contribute through the MLB-DDA and praised the continued efforts of the San Diego Padres.

The donation will support the popular and successful after school program called "Espacios para Crecer," or "Spaces to Learn." Spaces to Learn augments official class time with additional opportunities for creative learning. The Spaces to Learn program was developed in 2003 by a U.S. Department of Labor grant that served to eradicate child labor. The donation will enable the Dominican Republic's Fundación Sur Futuro to implement the Spaces to Learn program in the public school system.

The USAID, MLB-DDA and the Padres partnership will also support the American Chamber of Commerce's efforts toward teacher training in mathematics and reading to first through fourth grade public school teachers. For the past three years the Chamber managed a USAID-funded project that provides technical and financial assistance, which matches private sector investments in the public schools in order to improve the quality of basic education in the Dominican Republic.

The MLB-DDA was founded in November 2008 to tap the potential combined resources of baseball in community outreach programs in the Dominican Republic, a country which currently produces more than 20 percent of all signed MLB players. USAID provides financial support through a matching grant incentive fund. For more information about MLB-DDA, visit

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Last updated: February 28, 2012

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