As part of its commitment to education, the Browns and Lorain City School District officially launched the "Titan Pride Uniform Program," benefitting youth who may not attend class due to a lack of access to suitable clothing.
The smiles on the faces provided a moment of joy for Greg Joseph and his Browns teammates Tuesday at Lorain's Toni Morrison Elementary School.
The long-term effects of the visit provided a sense of purpose and gratitude knowing those smiles will be seen on a more regular basis inside the classroom.
Joseph, T.J. Carrie, Terrance Mitchell and Chad Thomas helped launch the "Titan Pride Uniform" program by distributing packages to fourth-grade students in support of the uniform program's mission to enhance their school attendance. They also presented a grant check in the amount of $70,000 from the Cleveland Browns Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Northeast Ohio by making investments to keep kids in school, every day, so they can succeed.
"It's something I gladly do every opportunity we get because it serves a bigger purpose," Joseph said. "As long as these kids are getting to school and learning and staying out of trouble, the community is better for it. It's definitely a goal of the Browns as a whole."
Through the new program, Titan Pride Packages – comprised of three polo shirts, two pairs of pants, one t-shirt and a belt – will be provided to students identified by Lorain City School District who are chronically absent as the lack of appropriate clothing is a major obstacle in attending school for many students. "Titan Pride Lockers" will also be set up at all schools to offer students access to clothing for the day when emergency uniform requests occur.
Earlier this year, the Cleveland Browns and Dee and Jimmy Haslam also provided Lorain High School's George Daniel Field with a new high-quality synthetic turf field as part of the team's commitment to Browns Give Back's emphasis on education and youth football.
"It was a really fun day, a culmination of a lot of meetings and discussions to design a program that would have the greatest impact on students," said Renee Harvey, Vice President of the Cleveland Browns Foundation. "To be able to see the players bring packages that included the uniforms shirts, pants and belts and T-shirts for the students, it was really rewarding to see the look on their faces to see how excited they are to get those packages, the sense of pride they'll have to come to school and be a part of this. To see their attendance gains in the near future will be really exciting to see as well.
"We're really excited to extend our work to the Lorain community. To be able to extend that support to the educational side in terms of helping to drive students attendance is really meaningful to us as an organization. It means a lot to be able to do what we can to support and lift up Lorain community and its students."
Through this initiative in Lorain County, the district expects to serve 1,360 students by the end of the school year, which translates to 9,548 articles of clothing. On Tuesday, Browns players were able to see and experience the immediate benefits.
"Today's event was really really inspirational and amazing for our kids. It really just celebrated the awesome things our kids are doing," said Arliss Prass, Chief Family Officer of Lorain City Schools. "It's just the awe and shock on their faces seeing real football players at their school and celebrating them really meant a lot to them."