Saints defensive send Akiem Hicks visited Einstein Charter School as a part of Rotolo's Literacy Program on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Photos by Connor Tarter. (New Orleans Saints photos)
New Orleans Saints defensive end Akiem Hicks visited the Einstein Charter School Extension on Tuesday, Sept. 16 and spoke to a group of 170 third through fifth graders about the importance of literacy and education as a part of the Rotolo's Literacy Program Visit series.
After walking into the school's cafeteria and being greeted with a roar of applause from the children, Hicks spoke about his personal experiences with reading and education and how those experiences have aided him in his professional career. Among other playful anecdotes, Hicks revealed that his favorite childhood book was "Ramona and Beezus" and that he was required to read at least 30 minutes every day as a child.
Hicks also stressed that reading and learning are still very useful to him in his adult life, even though he had once thought that reading would become less important beyond his college days.
Hicks then opened the floor for questions from the children, which ranged in subject matter from his opinion on baseball to whether or not he had ever injured another player by tackling him.
After the question and answer session, the children were given the opportunity to win autographed memorabilia from Hicks if they were called upon and able to answer trivia questions about his presentation.
"My main message is to make sure that you're doing the things to make you successful as a young person," Hicks said. "I hope they can take the wisdom I've given them and apply it every day."