The Newport Sports Museum's youth outreach program earned an Outstanding Contributions to Education award from the Orange County Board of Education, the group announced Friday.
Six times a year, the board honors individuals and organizations who have made signification contributions to support education across the county.
Along with its collection of sports memorabilia, the museum's youth program uses sports stars to encourage at-risk students to stay focused on schoolwork and avoid drugs or other distractions.
Orangewood Children's Foundation, Olive Crest, Canyon Acres Children and Family Services, Project Access, California National Guard, Little League, Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs, and YMCA/YWCA all work with the Newport institution.
Professional sports teams like the Angels, Ducks, Kings, Sparks and Lakers donate time, tickets tours and memorabilia for the program.
"Sports legends are heroes to children of all ages, and they encourage students by demonstrating the value of teamwork, persistence, personal responsibility and dedication required to achieve success," OCBE member Elizabeth Parker said in a prepared statement. "We are honored to recognize Newport Sports Museum Youth Outreach Program and the work they do provide inspirational role models for our youth."
— Jeremiah Dobruck