Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) and Spark LA co-hosting Discovery Night at Dodger Stadium Tuesday

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) and Spark LA will co-host Spark LA Discovery Night at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, December 9 from 3-6 p.m. This event is part of the Dodgers and LADF's 2014 Season of Giving, a community-focused campaign that seeks to improve the lives of children through December.

Since 2004, Spark LA has helped match 7th and 8th grade students with mentors working in career fields that are aligned to the students' strengths and interests. At the end of each apprenticeship, students display what they have learned and accomplished at "Discovery Night." The program allows students to see the real life connection between the classroom and their lives.

LADF recently granted Spark LA a $15,000 grant to specifically offset the significant transportation costs associated with getting the students safely to and from the apprenticeships. Starting this fall and running through the end of the school year, four buses with the LADF and SparkLA logos will be taking students to and from their apprenticeships throughout LA on high traffic routes from Boyle Heights/Downtown LA to Santa Monica and Culver City. In alignment with its commitment to Education + Literacy, LADF joins Spark LA in their movement to change the lives of middle school students in Los Angeles.

"We are proud to partner with Spark LA and host an event that will celebrate the tremendous impact their program has on underserved youth in the Los Angeles community," said Nichol Whiteman, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Executive Director. "Our support of Spark LA is rooted in our belief that middle school marks an important passage in a child's life. Programs like Spark LA reach some of the most at-risk students and open doors to vast opportunities they did not even know existed."

LADF is largely focused on cornerstone programs and strategic partnerships. Through a small grants program, it seeks to support programs or projects aligned with cornerstone programs and focus on education, literacy, sports, recreation, health and wellness.

"Through Spark's apprenticeship program, students at risk of dropping out of school become more engaged and stay on track for success," said Yoon S. Choi, Ph.D., Los Angeles Executive Director. "Thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, for the first time ever, all Spark LA students will present their projects to corporations, city representatives and educators in one location."

More than 250 students, joined by more than 600 corporate mentors, parents and Spark LA board and staff, will be present to show their amazing work and celebrate the success of their apprenticeships. Dodger Alumni League Member Dennis Powell will speak during the event.

Parties interested in supporting this season and LADF programs can visit www.dodgers.com/ladf. Nonprofit organizations who would like to request an in-kind holiday donation from the Dodgers should visit www.dodgers.com/donations.

Complete details on the Dodgers' and LADF's Season of Giving events will be distributed to media prior to each event. Members of the media can contact the Dodgers' Public Relations department with questions by calling (323) 224-1301.

About Spark LA

Spark, a national nonprofit offers a unique program that re-engages middle school students in their education through hands-on apprenticeships and leadership curriculum. Since 2004, Spark has served more than 2,000 students and the results are clear: Spark students consistently gain confidence, key skills, and positive relationships, and have a graduation rate far above the national average. Spark's unique approach and positive outcomes have earned national attention. Spark is a national organization that provides life-changing apprenticeships to middle school students from disadvantaged communities in an effort to empower them to succeed in their education and beyond.