Jaguars linebacker Mike Peterson has been named the Jaguars/Morgan Stanley Community Leader of the Year for 2007. As a result, the Mike Peterson Foundation – Just Read It! Program received a $6,000 check on Peterson's behalf from team sponsor Morgan Stanley.
Peterson, 32, was one of four players receiving consideration for their commitment to community involvement. The other players were offensive tackle Tony Pashos, cornerback Scott Starks and former Jaguars wide receiver Ernest Wilford. The four players were named monthly winners last season, previously directing $1,000 donations to local non-profits.
Last fall Peterson joined forces with Duval County Public Schools to tackle one of the county's top priorities for students – reading and literacy. Through his foundation, Peterson started the "Just Read It" Star of the Month Program at the start of the 2007-08 school year. This initiative was created and designed as an incentive and recognition program to award outstanding students at the elementary and middle school levels for reading improvement.
During the school year, students were awarded based on their reading progress in the classroom, as well as their commitment to reading. Throughout the school year, 12 students (six elementary, six middle school) were selected on a monthly basis and invited to a meet and greet VIP stadium tour at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. At the end of each tour, Peterson distributed a personalized award to each student.
The end of the year celebration at the end of May brought together all Star of the Month winners. They were recognized for their hard work, determination and commitment to reading.
For more information, please contact the Jaguars Community Relations department at 904/633-2265.