Sports

Giants and Falcons Football Stars Visit Gregory Elementary School

8232a54a9f3f6a26afe9_gh5.JPG
319ce4391a7e651196c7_gh8.JPG
97d363ec05e35ef9737d_gh6.JPG
4760766549be639a961b_gh7.JPG
8232a54a9f3f6a26afe9_gh5.JPG

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Former Atlanta Falcons’ linebacker and defensive end turned author, Tim Green and Giants’ running back Rashad Jennings, paid a visit to Gregory Elementary School on Sept. 29 to promote Green’s latest book, "Kid Owner" and the“Play 60/Read 20” initiative.

Marisela Santiago of Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, who helped to arrange last year’s visit from Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, once again worked with Principal Michelle Thompson to arrange the visit.

In partnership with the NFL’s “Play 60” exercise campaign to combat childhood obesity, Green added the “Read 20” component to address the importance of reading and to underscore his motto, “Reading is weightlifting for your brain.”

Sign Up for E-News

“The weightlifting makes you stronger, and the reading makes you a better person— smarter and kinder,” said Green.   

The Gregory student body and staff turned out to welcome Green and Jennings, who arrived amidst cheers and balloons to lead fifth grade students in football drills on the Gregory field. They were assisted by teachers, parents, and West Orange High School football players and coaches.

In addition to members of the high school football team, Superintendent Jeff Rutzky, Assistant Superintendent Donna Rando, WOHS Principal Hayden Moore, Athletic Director Ron Bligh, Supervisor of Health and Physical Education Kevin Alvine, and WOHS Head Football Coach Jim Matsakis were on hand to welcome Green and Jennings.

Six stations were set up and students moved to a new station every five minutes. Once the drills were completed, students headed to the gym to hear from Green and Jennings, who spoke about their lives and encouraged students to pursue their dreams.

“Education, kindness and love are more important than football,” said Green, who travels nationally to meet with students. “My challenge to you is to do or say something kind to someone you don’t know and who is different from you.”

Jennings, who chose to accompany Green to Gregory on his day off, shared the story of his high school years.

“I was short, chubby, had glasses, asthma and a reading comprehension deficit,” he said. “I had a .6 GPA and I thought, ‘I’m smarter than school.”

In school, as a fifth string running back, Jennings said he never played, until the last game of his junior year season when the first, second, third and fourth string running backs were all injured. Miraculously, Jennings scored four touchdowns that night, drawing the attention of a scout. When the scout asked Jennings what his grades were like, Jennings said he realized something had to change.

“That scout changed my life,” Jennings said, “and I repeated junior year, got to know my teachers and started to realize how important reading was.”

Jennings went on to play with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, and the New York Giants.

“Reading made me a successful football player,” said Jennings. “I took ownership of my life. Whatever you want to do in life you can succeed.”

Green read a chapter from his newest book for young people, “Kid Owner,” about a young boy that finds out the recently deceased owner of the Dallas Cowboys was his father and inherits the team.

His first book for young people, “Football Genius,” landed on the New York Times Bestseller List.

The audience seemed to hang on every word spoken by Green and Jennings, and the gym erupted into cheers as Jennings presented each student with a signed copy of “Kid Owner.”

To see more photos from the event, click HERE. All photos taken by Cynthia Cumming

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

May 18, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Save Up To 20% at CNP Treasures

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Are you still looking for the perfect gift for your mom or that special someone in your life for Mother's Day? Then CNP Treasures has you covered! Save up to 20% at CNP Treasures located at 14 Northfield Ave in West Orange.

Come by this weekend so we can help you find the perfect gift! Offer expires Sunday, May ...

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Livingston Community Center (lower level), Livingston

NJ-11 Congressional Candidates Debate, hosted by ...

Education Government Law & Justice

Carousel_image_ca99dbbe4665a685b474_screen_shot_2018-05-22_at_9.15.03_pm

Mon, May 28, 10:00 AM

Township Hall, West Orange

2018 Memorial Day Observance

Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3dd755d9dc476b5f4dc3_unnamed__4_

Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...