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First and Ten: Portage Path Elementary School


"Here we go Brownies here we go!," yelled Greg Hicks a teacher at Portage Path Elementary School.

First, second and third graders all over the playground belted out  "Woof, Woof!" with all their might.

"They know it," he said. "That's how we do."

Hicks, who implemented The Browns First and Ten initiative in his classroom last fall, proceeded to develop a system to get the entire school involved. By pledging to #give10 each teacher and student has committed to making themselves and their communities better.

Intertwining the concept with a positive behavior and citizen program, Mr. Hicks, with the support of the principal, provided in- and out-of-class opportunities for the kids to #give10.

"The results have been outstanding, we are going to see it continue next year," Principal Kimberly Wilson said.

As students' behavior began to improve in the classroom, the class was able to gain yards on the First and Ten football field, which hung from a cafeteria wall.

Each classroom, represented by a numbered helmet, was challenged to progress from their infield at Portage Path to score a touchdown at the other end marked Cleveland Browns.

Throughout the year students collect cans for a food drive and prepared and donated baskets of groceries to nearly 300 families including those of students in their own school.

Hicks said before the end of the school year more than 93% of the classes completed the challenge. Since then, they've implemented an MVP of the week, selected randomly from a group of students who earned excellent marks that week based on showing respect, finishing their work and participating/staying active.

Jamaure, a second grader at Portage said, "I feel good that I get to earn stuff by being good in class and playing outside."

As he ran to join his classmates to enjoy the rest of his field day, you could see and hear the excitement of the kids as they played with Chomps, competed in relay races and ate popsicles.

"The Browns players make fans by what they do on the field," Hicks said. "But with programs like these, they make fans in the classroom—who want to do well and make positive decisions."

The Browns First and Ten program is about inspiring Browns fans to make their community better by giving back 10 hours of community service. Click here to share your story of how you are making a difference or use #give10. Follow @BrownsGiveBack on Twitter and Instagram for community updates

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