Philly schools benefit from Hamels' generosity

Foundation gives $53K to help implement standardized math program, other causes

Philly schools benefit from Hamels' generosity

When it comes to pitching, Cole Hamels is used to seeing results quickly.

But when it comes to education, the Phillies left-hander knows that results aren't always as fast as an umpire calling balls and strikes. Teaching takes time. That's why Hamels, his wife Heidi and their foundation donated more than $53,000 to Philadelphia-area schools Monday morning at Webster Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

Webster Elementary was the beneficiary of the most generous donation from The Hamels Foundation, a grant worth $15,000 that will go toward buying the school and training teachers in a standardized math program -- something the school doesn't have at the moment.

"This is going to affect [the students] for the rest of their lives -- not just for a period, and then they can move on to something else," Hamels said. "There are subjects that are life long. And you want to make sure they grasp a better understanding, because you're going to be able to see the difference right away."

Hamels emphasized that this grant will be able to immediately change the way the faculty of Webster Elementary teaches its students. In Hamels' mind, as important as this is for the students, it actually might be more valuable to the teachers.

"We're just really pleased to be able to see some of the teachers when they come in and how happy and excited they are," Hamels said. "Because I don't think some of the students really grasp it until they're learning it from the teachers. When you're able to go into a classroom where everybody is excited, it propels you to learn more and be better and go out and achieve your dreams more."

Webster Elementary wasn't the only one to benefit from a grant. Eight schools received a donation from The Hamels Foundation, with values ranging from $3,500 to $15,000 for causes such as revamping of audio systems, buying kits for STEM learning -- which is the combined topics of science, technology, engineering and math -- and establishing an integrated robotics program.

Speaking on behalf of all of the schools honored, Webster Elementary principal Shawn Wright thanked The Hamels Foundation for its charitable message.

"Today really is a celebration of hope and possibility," Wright said. "The generosity and passion of organizations like The Hamels Foundation reminds us that we're not in it alone."

With the children of Webster Elementary on hand for the ceremony, many of whom had drawn pictures for Hamels with inscriptions such as "Thank you for coming" and "We love you," Cole and Heidi Hamels presented these checks to much fanfare and approval, something Cole said he was extremely appreciative of.

Heidi, on the other hand, was just happy she and her husband were able to do their part.

"We cannot change a child's life without the community," Heidi said. "But to be able to see it really come to fruition is a totally different thing. I don't think many times in our lives we get to see the whole picture. We're just little cogs in the machine. But we stand here today and we get to see the whole machine. Thank you for letting us be that piece."

Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.