T Zach Strief and Rotolo's, the official pizza of the New Orleans Saints, partnered to visit students at Bridgedale Elementary School to discuss the importance of education and literacy on Tuesday.
The Saints tackle was joined by John Rebstock Sr., a New Orleans Area Manager for Rotolo's.
"I think it is very important to learn about the importance of literacy, especially while you are young," said Rebstock Sr. "Involvement in the community is something we strive for as a company, this event is great."
Strief was greeted by a large group of younger students before he addressed a room full of third, fourth and fifth graders.
Strief discussed his background from growing up in Milford, Ohio to being drafted by the Saints from Northwestern in the 2006 NFL Draft. He then began to talk about the importance of capitalizing on your education while you can.
Strief compared learning in school to the process of building a house with the students working on building their foundation for the rest of their lives.
He cited reading, in particular, as a tool that the student's will use each and every day.
"Everything you learn is a building block, so it's important to focus on your education," said Strief. "The lessons learned in class and by doing your homework will help you as you grow, and help propel you to your future."
Strief discussed a normal week working at the Saints facility and then compared his daily schedule to an average day in the classroom. Strief stressed that just because the work day is over does mean that there is not more to be done.
"School is like your profession and it's not over when you get on the bus," said Strief. "It is very important to study and do your homework to make sure you are giving your best effort."
Strief's final message was about the importance of physical health and exercise. He emphasized how important it is for the students to go outside and play at least 60 minutes per day to keep the body healthy.
Following his chat with the students, Strief held a question and answer period where students were able to inquire about everything from his performance in school growing up to playing in the National Football League. Then, the students had their own opportunity to answer questions about Strief's message in a trivia session with the winners receiving autographed NFL PLAY 60 t-shirts.
Each student in attendance also received Saints wristbands and the children were served pizza courtesy of Rotolo's.