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Akiem Hicks and Cameron Jordan team up with Rotolo's to promote literacy

By Connor Tarter

Akiem Hicks and Cameron Jordan's visited Ella C. Pittman Elementary for Rotolo's Literacy program. Zach Strief and Travaris Cadet also visited Boudreaux Elementary. Photos by Connor Tarter. New Orleans Saints photos.

Saints defensive ends Akiem Hicks and Cameron Jordan visited Ella C. Pittman Elementary school on Tuesday and spoke to a group of third through fifth grade students about the importance of reading and education as a part of the Rotolo's Literacy Program Visit series.

After walking into the school's gymnasium and being greeted with a roar of applause from the children, the duo spoke about their personal experiences with reading and education and how those experiences have aided them in their professional careers as defensive ends for the Saints. 

In addition to revealing personal anecdotes about their own childhoods, Hicks and Jordan also talked about some of their favorite reading activities from when they were children. Jordan shared that his favorite books as a child were from the Goosebumps series, which was met with a burst of excitement and applause from the students.

The duo also stressed the importance of reading and hard work in their adult lives and careers as NFL football players, referencing the enormity of the playbook each player is required to study and familiarize himself with within a period of two short weeks. 

After a brief question and answer session, the students were given the opportunity to win signed t-shirts from Hicks and Jordan by way of correctly answering trivia questions about the presentation. One such question was a riddle that ultimately compared head coach Sean Payton to the elementary school's principal.

When asked about the benefit he receives from meeting with young students, Jordan pointed out the sheer energy children have and how it inspires him.

"You see the abundance of energy that they have? They never stop going? That's what you have to translate, take it back to the field," Jordan said. "The whole 'never stop moving, never stop being yourself, always be more energetic than the next person' attitude."

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