Saints DT Akiem Hicks and S Isa Abdul-Quddus put their coaching skills to use on Tuesday night when they participated in the NFL's PLAY 60-Scholastic Read & Rise Event at Chateau Elementary School in Kenner.
Hicks and Abdul-Quddus were joined by Saints RB Travaris Cadet and former Saints WR Michael Lewis at the event.
"This was a special event with NFL PLAY 60 and Scholastic," Hicks said. "They've helped us do a lot of events in the community to teach kids about the importance of getting at least 60 minutes of exercise a day and Scholastic has donated books for all of the kids. It's really nice to give back and have fun with the kids."
NFL PLAY 60 and Scholastic have been working together for the last two years to hold week-long Scholastic Read & Rise Book Fairs at schools across the country to help put books into the hands of children who need them most, predominantly in Hispanic-populated communities.
"PLAY 60 is a big deal. We've done several events this week alone that have been fun for the kids," Hicks said. "They've gotten to experience playing football with NFL players, which I never got to do as a kid, so they've been having a lot of fun. It's important that PLAY 60 is having these events to teach kids how important it is to exercise every day."
During Super Bowl week, they are teaming up to host a special Super Bowl XLVII literacy event at Chateau Elementary School , which will include a week-long Scholastic Book Fair, a special school-wide reading assembly, and a Family Night event. As part of the event, NFL PLAY 60 will donate a gift certificate to every student to purchase a new book at the Scholastic Book Fair.
"We spent time playing with the kids and helping them through different PLAY 60 drills," said Abdul-Quddus. "We wanted to get them active and exercising, so we had some fun with them and helped them with some defensive drills and then catching the ball. Childhood obesity is a big issue in our country and it's important to get them active for at least an hour a day. It'll make a big difference for them."
The Scholastic Read & Rise Family Night helped educate parents and students about the importance of bringing a healthy lifestyle into their homes, as well as ways to build a library and raise a reader at home. While parents attended the literacy workshop, students experienced a 30-mintue NFL PLAY 60 clinic led by Hicks, Abdul-Quddus and PLAY 60 staff. Afterward, Hicks and Lewis spoke to the parents and students about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of reading.