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How the Browns helped 'Inspire Change' through the newly launched Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! Network

On Aug. 3, the Browns The Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Proving Ground at Harvard University launched the Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! Network (Get 2 School Network), a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. In the months since, thousands of students and educators have been impacted in a positive way, but the work is never done.

The Get 2 School Network partners with 14 school districts, benefiting nearly 85,000 students.

"The partnership with the Browns Foundation has been phenomenal," said Dr. Henry Pettigrew II, the CEO and Superintendent of East Cleveland City Schools. "Every day there's loss when students aren't in school. So we're trying to get the message out to families with the Browns to let them know we need them to Stay in the Game so they can earn the living and earn the wages they desire or dream."

Throughout the month of January, the NFL is spotlighting how it and its 32 teams have helped Inspire Change. The purpose is to facilitate conversations and actions that move us toward a more equal and just tomorrow. In the month of January, the Inspire Change initiative will showcase how the NFL family is coming together to ensure that access to opportunity is a reality for all and to create progress in police-community relations, criminal justice reform, and education and economic advancement.

Here's a look back at a busy first six months of the initiative.

Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Proving Ground collaborate to launch statewide school attendance network

The Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Proving Ground at Harvard University today launched the Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! Network (Get 2 School Network), a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism.

"The equation is quite simple," said Cleveland Browns Owner Dee Haslam. "The more a student attends school, the more prepared they are for future success beyond the classroom."

The network's goal is to increase student attendance, particularly among specific groups of students, such as African American, Hispanic, English learners, economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities. The network believes that student success begins with engaged learners who attend school each day.

This network is designed to connect its users to each other, state and national experts and high-quality attendance-focused campaign materials, strategies and evaluation tools. The network's core is its website, Get2School.org, which is available to all Ohio schools and districts at no cost.

"To have a great educational experience, students need to be where the learning is happening," said Ohio's Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. "Through this unique partnership, we are collaborating to ensure that children are learning every day and are excited about their futures. Thanks to the Cleveland Browns and Proving Ground at Harvard University for working with our Department on this impactful initiative."

On Saturday, the Cleveland Browns Foundation announced the launch of the Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! Network prior to the Orange and Brown Scrimmage

Dee Haslam, Browns alumnus Michael Lehan deliver message to students about newly launched Get 2 School initiative

Hundreds of students, teachers and parents filed into FirstEnergy Stadium's Lake Club on Saturday ahead of the Orange and Brown, but before the crowd watched Browns players take the field for the first time this season, they listened to an important message from Browns owner Dee Haslam.

The Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Proving Ground at Harvard University have launched the Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! Network (Get 2 School Network), a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism.

The initiative kicked off with Haslam's appearance in front of students across the Cleveland area eager for the start of both the football and school season.

"In order to participate in the sport, you have to go every day, or you don't get to play that afternoon," Haslam said. "Our players here were willing to do this because they still believed how important every day is in school."

Browns give to educational efforts with backpacks, visits with students

Browns tight end Demetrius Harris stood at the front of the room and gave an impassioned speech to those in attendance.

Use the technology you're given. Set your alarms. Get to school.

Harris and fellow tight end David Njoku emphasized such points during a visit to Garfield Heights' Barack Obama Elementary School as part of the Browns' Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! initiative. The statewide program focuses on improving student attendance across all grades in order to better their chances of future success.

Harris didn't need to put on a front to get his point across. With hands clapping to drive home his statement, he told a group of students who are struggling with truancy and tardiness about the importance of school and how it can set them up for a future of success — or struggle.

"I was in the same shoes as kind of both of those groups," Harris explained afterward. "I kind of could relate to them and I kind of felt both groups' stories, so it was just a blessing for me to have the opportunity to do this." 

As part of Odell's support for the Get 2 School initiative, he hosted a bowling event for a select group of Canton students to celebrate their commitment to attendance and academic achievement.

Odell Beckham Jr. rewards model students with bowling party

Odell Beckham Jr. has only been bowling for a year or so, but you'd never know it if you saw his first roll Tuesday.

The Browns' superstar receiver stepped up to a rack of bowling balls at AMF Brookgate Lanes, located his custom ball among an assortment of standard selections and let it fly off his right hand, spinning rapidly while hurtling down the well-oiled lane 46. The purple, green, blue and gold-marbled ball — which definitely would have matched his Mardi Gras-themed pregame attire in the Browns' Week 2 win over the Jets — swirled as it curved back toward the front pins before sending them in 10 different directions.

Strike.

Beckham hosted select Canton City School District students at the bowling alley Tuesday in Brook Park for a bowling party to reward the students for exemplary attendance as part of the Browns' Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! initiative. For Beckham, bowling was the perfect choice, marrying two of his passions: bowling, and interacting and inspiring kids.

"Bowling is probably one of my favorite activities, especially coming to Cleveland, it was something that I was already picking up on," Beckham said. "There's a bunch of lanes and stuff around and secondly, kids are a big part of my life. I love kids and I love bowling. I thought, why not put the two together?"

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