Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Mike Pearson made a stop at Crystal Springs Elementary School on the westside of Jacksonville on Tuesday, September 6th to offer some words of encouragement to the students as the school begins its Million Word Kickoff Campaign. Each year the students are asked to read one million words over the course of the school year. Many students often find this a difficult task to accomplish and several students often can't find motivation to read.
Pearson explained to the kids how important it is to make reading a part of their life. "Every subject that you have in school – math, science, history – you have got to be able to read. Reading is only going to make you that much more successful," Pearson explained. "It's going to help you take tests, take notes, and be that much better of a student."
Crystal Springs Elementary has placed a major emphasis on the importance of reading this year. Students are required to fill out a reading log, recording their nightly reading that they do at home. The faculty's goal is for the students to become "wild about reading" and to enjoy it.
Pearson explained during his visit that even though he is a professional football player, he still has lots of reading that he has to do each day. "We have to study our playbooks all the time. Being a football player, even though you would think there would not be a lot of reading involved, we have to read each and every day."
He also pointed out that all football players go to college. This sets football players up for life after football because they know they can't play football forever. One of the teachers asked Pearson how many players in the NFL he knows that didn't go to college. Pearson remarked, "I don't think I know one."
As Pearson concluded his talk, he turned his focus to this week's regular season opener against the Seattle Seahawks. After spending all spring and summer rehabbing his injured left knee, he has been anticipating this Sunday for very long time.
"I can't wait to get out there and help this team win our first game of the year," he said.