Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - Cleveland Browns safety Usama Young and tight end Jordan Cameron put down their playbooks and picked up a few other books to read to elementary students Tuesday.
Young and Cameron visited Buhrer Dual Language School in Cleveland for a ‘Reading Rally’ sponsored by the NFL’s Play 60 initiative as part of Hispanic Heritage month.
“It was great to be out here talking to the kids about reading and the importance of it,” Cameron said. “I talked about opening up your imagination and books help you do that. It helps with school and developing better vocabulary.
“It’s great to dive into a book and lose your mind in it especially at home.”
The two read stories to third graders at the school and fielded a variety of questions from them before meeting the entire student body during an assembly in the gymnasium.
“I wouldn’t have thought of some of the stuff they asked us,” Young said with a laugh.
Cameron was also impressed with the variety of questions that they were asked ranging from their favorite subject in school to what subjects help them on the football field.
“They were pretty in depth,” Cameron said. “I was like ‘Whoa, this is pretty impressive,’ but it was funny to hear those questions and hopefully we helped them with the answers we gave.
“They knew what they were talking about so it was fun to answer questions and to see their personalities come out.”
The Browns also presented the school with $5 certificates for each student to use at the Scholastic Read and Rise® Book Fair taking place this week at the school.
Young, who is usually first in line to ask to participate in the Browns’ Tuesday community outreach programs, would like to teach when his playing days are over.
“It’s kind of funny because I don’t plan on teaching elementary school, but the patience that these teachers have you’ve got to admire,” Young said. “Seeing the kids smile and laugh is something; especially with something as simple as reading to them. They loved it.”
Young stressed the importance of education to the students and told them the story of how he went back to school to get his degree a year after being selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2007 draft.
“Every week I make it a point to come out on the off day,” Young said. “Especially when I got the call to come talk about the importance of reading because my parents always instilled that in me. Not just to get smarter, but just to stay up to date with what’s going on around the world.
“Don’t just watch TV. Don’t just sit around, get into a book. Get lost in a book and learn about society and things that are going on and if you don’t want to do the real life stuff you could always get lost in a mystery or fictional story.”
Receiver Greg Little was scheduled to join Young and Cameron at the event but was unable to make it for unknown reasons.
The team did not return a request for comment about Little’s absence.