The Browns kicked off Day 1 of their annual "10 Days of Giving" celebration Tuesday by visiting Franklin D. Roosevelt Elementary and rewarding students and faculty for their commitment to emphasizing the importance of strong attendance habits.
Browns players Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Alex Wright stopped by to help the students decorate cookies and engage in other activities while enjoying a meal from Arby's, which has been a consistent supporter of the Cleveland Browns Foundation and "Stay in the Game! Keep Learning Everyday" Network.
"It's important to be consistent, to show hard work and be disciplined," Owusu-Koramoah said. "It takes a different type of energy to do the same thing every day and make sure you wake up and have a routine to go to school every day, be engaged and learn. It's important for the future of America and the future of the world."
In addition to providing meals for the students, Arby's Foundation presented the "Stay in the Game!" Network, one of the Browns' core community initiatives that strives to eliminate chronic student absenteeism, with a $110,000 grant. The donation will benefit multiple partner school districts, including FDR Elementary and other schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, as they collaborate to provide critical resources to help combat chronic absenteeism and promote school engagement with the goal of preparing all students for future success.
It marks the fourth consecutive year that the Arby's Foundation has made a contribution of $100,000 to the Stay in the Game! Network, totaling $410,000.
"Just watching them cheer and seeing the sheer excitement just made my heart melt," said Donna Manwaring, the director of operations for Arby's Cleveland. "These kids are just wonderful. They deserve opportunities like everyone else, and I was honored to be someone who could help provide that."
The grant from Arby's is expected to support attendance interventions across eight districts within the network and will help schools install "Stay in the Game" rooms in certain schools. The rooms will be a fun, rewarding space for students who consistently show strong and improved attendance, and one of the rooms will be installed at FDR Elementary.
"It's such an awesome opportunity and is the gift that keeps on giving," said Sherie Turner, the principal of the school. "It allows our scholars to understand the importance of attendance and is an incentive for them to keep on coming to school and taking care of their business."
Throughout "10 Days of Giving," spanning Dec. 6-15, Browns players, coaches and staff will participate in special community events and make meaningful donations to deserving organizations or individuals as part of the team's yearlong commitment to education, youth football and social justice initiatives, inspiring others through its signature First and Ten volunteering movement.