The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, along with linebacker Trent Murphy and alumnus Rocky McIntosh, visited Georgian Forest Elementary School on Friday, Jan. 19, to host a Redskins Read event. *
By: Hannah Schmidt
Redskins outside linebacker Trent Murphy and Redskins alumnus Rocky McIntosh took a page out of a special kind of playbook, as the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation teamed up with Weis Markets to host a Redskins Read event at Georgian Forest Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md.
As the two players were introduced to the fourth and fifth graders on Friday, Jan. 19, the children's energy in the gymnasium was palpable.
With the help of Weis Markets, the Redskins Charitable Foundation hosted a Redskins Read event at Georgian Forest Elementary. Each 4th and 5th grade classroom received a new set of books to add to their classroom libraries.
"My favorite part was seeing the kid's excitement around reading," said Georgian Forest principal Sundra Mann. "Their ability to answer all of the questions made me very proud - it's so wonderful that this program can make the children so eager to keep learning."
To test their reading knowledge, some of the students were split into two teams and participated in the Redskins Read Game Show, where "team captains" McIntosh and Murphy helped come up with answers to a number of book-based trivia questions.
For McIntosh, this was the clear highlight of the day.
"It was really fun to be able to interact with the kids, and make them turn on those thinking caps a little bit. It made me think back to my childhood, hearing about some of those stories," McIntosh said.
This was followed by a touchdown dance competition, judged by a team of athletes and Georgian Forest staff. Each student was rewarded at the end of the day with their individual copy of Kid's Cook -- a cookbook with recipes just for them, a poster of the entire Redskins team, and some writing materials provided by Weis Markets.
Additionally, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation gifted each fourth and fifth grade classroom with a new set of books to add to their libraries.
Both players stressed the importance to them of having the opportunity to give back to their community.
"I know I was in their shoes looking up to older players when I was younger and being able to show some excitement together for reading was really cool," Murphy said.
McIntosh echoed these views: "Even before I was playing, there was somebody out there who reached out to me, influenced me and showed me the proper way to do things, and I was always tuning in to what was going on around me and what I could do about it. Later on down the line, in life, you can see in hindsight, 'Ah, hey, he or she was really right,' and it's very rewarding."
Both players even had the chance to reflect on their own favorite childhood books. For Murphy it was the *Animorphs *series, as he, "always thought it would be pretty cool to transform into an eagle or a lion." And for McIntosh, it was *A Very Hungry Caterpillar. *
"It's a pretty well known book and everybody loves it," he said. "It's just transformative. Growing up from a kid to an adult is very similar."
To learn more about the Redskins Read Program, as well as see the full list of participating schools, visit www.redskins.com/redskinsread.