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Darrick Receives Special Experience At FedExField

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Darrick Lewis, age 10, has been playing football for half his life. So really, it's only natural that the sport, and his favorite team, the Redskins, would help him in the classroom, too.

Lewis, who lives in Leesburg, Va., with his mom, Christina, and his brother, Darius, is entering fifth grade and has used football – its terminologies, its numbers, its players -- to help him overcome some early learning disabilities.

"He would do the multiplication based on the Redskins' numbers," said Trisha Avery, his fourth grade teacher. "If it was time to do a reading, as long as the book was about the Redskins or a football player, he would do his reading. Football's been a huge motivator educationally."

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Avery joined Lewis and his family on the field Thursday night before the Redskins took on the Jaguars. It was all courtesy of longsnapper Nick Sundberg.

Last school year, Sundberg bought a charity prize pack that had an all access pass to the fourth and final preseason game, including two tickets. Lewis was chosen as the recipient and Sundberg surprised him in class at Hamilton Elementary School with the news.

That initial shock all culminated Thursday when Darrick reconnected with Sundberg on the sideline and then raced out onto the field to catch some passes and punts from punter Tress Way.

"I think it's just awesome that Darrick got this experience," said Christina, who was also taking in FedExField for the first time.

All the football Darrick had read and wrote about – his writing assignments were dedicated to player profiles – had come full circle, slapping fives with the same players on the field.

"That was how we connected," Avery said. "It was our in-road with him. That was our thing. I'm a football junkie so that was how I got him to open up. That's why we were so sad to see him go, but so happy to see him here."

Both Darrick and Darius, after moving recently, now attend Frederick Douglas Elementary, but his former teachers, as evidenced Thursday, still check in on him.

"Teachers kind of figured that out about him," Christina said,"and they used [football] when he was having tough days in school."

This kind of opportunity will only help enhance that connection.

"We will never forget this," Christina said. "That's why I'm trying to get as many pics as possible."

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