WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During an on-field ceremony prior to Thursday night's game, Nationals players Alex Cora and Ryan Zimmerman will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor nine Washington-area high school students serving as Action Team captains. The Action Team is a national youth volunteer program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2010-11 school year, these Action Team captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized volunteer activities.

Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 26,000 high school students across the country to help more than 111,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities. An award-winning Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to one million high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the country. The Association of Educational Publishers presented this innovative service-learning program with a 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award, and CNN broadcast an Action Team feature during a recent "Perry's Principles" segment on Anderson Cooper 360 (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/perrys.principles/).

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players tonight are Action Team captains Ryan Brackett, David Budway, William Hathaway and Kyle Swenson from St. Stephen and St. Agnes School, Annie Budway and Sam Hall from H-B Woodlawn and Ben Edgar, Peter Janetos and Peter Thomas from Washington-Lee High School. Also, David Budway of St. Stephen and St. Agnes School will receive a $1,500 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of his commitment to community service.

Action Teams are at work in 163 high schools across the country and Puerto Rico. Each month during the school-year, Action Team captains participate in a conference call hosted by legendary broadcaster George Grande, where a Major Leaguer and a featured Action Team of the Month discuss the importance of community service and share volunteering tips and ideas. High schools interested in joining the Action Team can receive applications and additional information by visiting www.ActionTeam.org or by sending an email request to ActionTeam@mlbpa.org.

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com and visit the Players Trust Channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/mlbplayerstrust. Also, be sure to check out the Action Team segment recently featured on CNN's "Perry's Principles" at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/perrys.principles/.