The Browns celebrated and thanked the student body at Rocky River Middle School earlier this week for their continued efforts in the Browns First and Ten Campaign. This passionate student body of more than 650 students has continuously volunteered its time to the local community by committing to perform at least 10 hours of community service per student through the Browns #give10 pledge.
Already this year, Rocky River Middle School has raised more than $6,000 for Kick-It for Children's Cancer research. The school also participated in a coat drive that provided more than 30 new coats, hats and gloves to the Rocky River Assistance Program as well as a winter coat drive where clothing was collected and donated to numerous homeless shelters in Cleveland.
In addition, Rocky River students collected more than 450 canned goods for The Rocky River Assistance Program while also going out into the community once a month to serve meals to the homeless. The staff at Rocky River Middle School has been instilling this goodwill in its students since the beginning of the year.
"I think that school is a lot more than academics to make them well-rounded citizens that will turn into adults that will lead our communities," said Principal Megan Rose. "I think service is a huge part of who we are as Rocky River Middle School and it's really important for our kids to see that."
As a reward for the students' outstanding volunteerism, Browns players Johnson Bademosi, Kevin Cone, Billy Cundiff, Craig Robertson, Jabaal Sheard, Billy Winn and Christian Yount joined the students in a school-wide assembly thanking them for their commitment to helping others.
Yount was taken aback by the students.
"One of [the students] asked if there is one thing that we would like to see changed in the world. What they don't realize is how big of an impact they are making every day by giving 10 and really buying into the program," he said. "It's awesome that at such a young age they can get started by giving back and get a head start on making a difference."
Students learned how their favorite Browns #give10 in a school-wide Q&A where standout students quizzed the players on why they feel it is important to give back to Northeast Ohio and their hometowns.
"It's important to give back because not only are there less fortunate kids that are looking up to us as sports figures for inspiration, but seeing us give back will instill in them to give back as well," said offensive lineman Karim Barton.
Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's new community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer to help their communities throughout the world by committing 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.
Robertson was moved by the students' commitment to the First and Ten program and challenged them to do even more.
"While it is a big pat on the back by conquering #give10 we have to keep it up, keep on giving ten," Robertson said.
For more information on how you can be a part of the Cleveland Browns First and Ten program, visit clevelandbrowns.com/community.