Browns players visited Clark School to surprise scholars with excellent attendance as part of the Browns Foundation support of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District âGet to School, You Can Make It!â attendance campaign.
CLEVELAND —** In a visit to Clark School aimed at driving home the importance of getting to school, Browns center Cameron Erving spoke of accountability on the football field and in the classroom, hoping it would resonate with the students here.
"I've kind of learned about it my whole life by playing sports and you know it didn't really hit me until my last year-and-a-half, last two years of college, I started realizing what it meant to be truly accountable," Erving said.
"And what I wanted to relay to the kids is that you just want to be someone who people can depend on when somebody gives you a task, it's going to get done how you need it to be done and when you need it to be done."
Erving was one of six Browns players who — along with the Cleveland Browns Foundation — visited Clark School on Tuesday to celebrate students with exemplary attendance and reinforce how it's a pivotal component to success in the classroom and in life.
In a surprise school assembly, Erving, Ibraheim Campbell, Xavier Cooper, Erle Ladson, Kaleb Johnson and Raheem Mostert offered words of encouragement and support through the "Get 2 School. You Can Make It!" campaign as the team continues its weekly #give10 visits this offseason.
"We as players want to drive home the importance of attendance because it's really a necessity to get the most out of education," said Campbell, who went to Northwestern. "You can't learn from your teachers, you can't grow from the school atmosphere without being there. So it's really the first step to excelling."
The Cleveland Browns Foundation is the signature partner for Cleveland Metropolitan School District's "Get 2 School. You Can Make It!" attendance campaign, designed to remove the barriers of students being chronically absent from school. Based on recent studies, there is a significant negative impact on CMSD students' test scores and graduations rates when missing even 10 days of school.
After the assembly, the Browns met with a smaller group of students to further emphasize the significance of education and attendance, imploring them to remain focused so they can achieve their goals.
"A lot of them were asking about what kind of obstacles I've encountered in my life leading up to where I am today," Campbell said, "and I just tried to share with them that you will encounter obstacles — that's without a doubt — but you have to focus on what you can control and one thing that they're able to control is their attendance."
Erving, whose mother is a teacher in Georgia, had a similar message.
"We tend to do these things and these events and everyone tends to get wrapped up in the fact that we're professional athletes and they don't really — sometimes the kids are so excited that they don't really get the message — and what I told them is just that I told them that, flat-out, not everybody in here and everybody that you know is going to have a chance to be a professional athlete," he said.
"But what your teachers and your parents are trying to teach you about coming to school and having perfect attendance and making it a habit is that's going to stick with you for a lifetime. It doesn't just go to school, it goes for your job. Making sure employers can count on you. And that's what I wanted them to know. I feel like I touched a few of them."
The Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, 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. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
About Cleveland Browns Foundation:
The Cleveland Browns Foundation is dedicated to a solution-based, holistic approach to ensure Northeast Ohio youth receive the development and education they need as a foundation for independence and success. For more information, visit ClevelandBrowns.com/foundation.