The Browns had just wrapped up Day 2 of offseason workouts, a morning filled with lifting heavy weights, running and other hard labor.
But that didn't deter a handful of players -- tight ends Gary Barnidge, Randall Telfer, Seth DeValve, J.P. Holtz, wide receiver Rannell Hall and safety Ed Reynolds II -- from visiting Waverly and Marion Sterling Schools on Tuesday afternoon as part of the team's support of Cleveland Metropolitan School District's "Get 2 School, You Can Make It" campaign.
The campaign is aimed at solving the problem of chronic absenteeism, defined by the district as missing 10 days or more percent of a school year for any reason. Through its research, CMSD learned that even missing 10 days of school has a significant impact on test scores and places students at risk for not graduating by 34 percentage points. The Cleveland Browns support the attendance campaign as a way to improve education results, and aims to remove barriers that keep students from getting to school and learning.
So the Browns were here to reward students for returning to school after the holiday break and inspire them to continue such attendance habits, a dynamic that's correlated with academic success. During their time at each school, the players spoke to the students, read stories and played board games.
"This particular group had done a really good job with their attendance all year, but more particularly they had shown a big improvement in attendance and we just wanted to come and encourage them," DeValve said.
This was a particularly important date for the 'Get 2 to School' campaign because it was the students' first time back from break, a time identified by CMSD as having historically lower attendance compared to other dates. "You Can Make it Days," which occur in different forms throughout the year, like Tuesday, are designed to encourage consistent attendance throughout the year, as well as to recognize and emphasize the importance of attending school each day to prepare students for long-term success.
"I think the students here told them during the year you'll never know when a Browns player might show and today it happened, they were really excited," DeValve said. "It's just one of many incentives for them to get to school but we wanted to show them how we're held accountable to the same thing years later in our same job.".
As part of Browns Give Back, the Browns are continuing their commitment to #give10 through the team's signature First and Ten volunteering campaign during the offseason after engaging the community throughout the season each Tuesday on the players' day off.
Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign was established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. Fans are encouraged to share how they give back in their communities by tagging their stories #give10 on social media.
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Cleveland Browns give back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/community.