NFL Draft Community Programs Aim to Benefit Arlington Youth

DeMarcus Ware, along with Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones Anderson and Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos  kicked off the first of several NFL Draft Community programs during a community meeting at AT&T Stadium on Thursday, Feb. 8.

The group presented two of the outreach initiatives created for AISD junior high and high school student-athletes to the district’s football coaches, athletic coordinators and administration.

“The Dallas Cowboys are excited to use the energy that surrounds the NFL Draft to showcase the values that the game of football teaches youth,” Anderson said. “These qualities – leadership, character, teamwork, diligence and determination – go beyond the game and provide a lasting impact for entire communities. Football can create a spirit of community and we look forward to sharing that experience with the nation before and during Draft Week.”

The Cowboys will host the 2018 NFL Draft, which will take place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Arlington ISD Community Quarterback High School Football Volunteer Challenge
As part of the Cowboys NFL Draft community outreach programming, the six AISD high school football teams will be challenged to execute a service project that impacts their campus, neighborhood or feeder community. The teams will dedicate time to working on their project during a district-wide day of service during NFL Draft Week. Draft prospects invited to Arlington by the NFL, will join the football teams at their work sites (as schedule is determined).

Arlington ISD Student-Athlete Mentorship Program
AISD high school student-athletes across all sports – both boys and girls, will also work to mentor their junior high counterparts and implement the InSideOut character education lessons that their coaches have been presenting for the past year. The older athletes will be encouraged to attend practices, host character discussions and teambuilding events and serve as role models for the younger students. AISD served as a national pilot for the NFL Foundation’s InSideOut Character initiative, demonstrating how coaches of all sports, all genders can work across an entire school district to change the win-at-all-cost culture of sports.

NFL Draft Guest Speakers
There are plans for NFL, City of Arlington, Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium officials responsible for planning the NFL Draft in Arlington to serve at guest speakers at the AISD Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center. The concept includes exposing junior and senior high school students, who are participating in industry certification programs that are relevant to preparing for the NFL Draft, the opportunity to learn from the strategic planning that takes place to host a national event of this magnitude.

Character Playbook: NFL Draft Edition
During Draft Week, junior high students from AISD and other select North Texas schools will take part in a Jeopardy-like game show at The Star in Frisco as part of the Cowboys, EverFi and United Way’s NFL Character Playbook LIVE initiative. Character Playbook LIVE is part of a league-wide initiative to engage more students in the important conversation of why character matters. Since Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season, NFL teams and their local United Ways have been hosting events with schools in celebration of character. The Cowboys host monthly LIVE digital discussions with Character Playbook schools across the Metroplex utilizing players, cheerleaders and team personnel. Character Playbook: NFL Draft Edition will highlight the students’ character education lessons and potentially incorporate the NFL Draft prospects in the game show event.

Celebrating Creativity Through Student Art Installation
AT&T Stadium will celebrate student creativity by hosting an installation of football-themed art created by AISD fifth-graders on-site at NFL Draft as part of the team’s annual stadium art program. Since the program’s inception, more than 12,000 AISD elementary students have visited AT&T Stadium and created artwork inspired by the Cowboys Art Collection housed at the venue. The Draft display will include artwork traditionally created for the program, as well as a series of football helmets featuring artwork designed by AISD seventh-grade students who were the first to graduate from the stadium art program in the 2015-2016 school year.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Touchdown Celebration
Elementary-age students from AISD and other Metroplex schools whose schools have achieved Touchdown status with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program will come to AT&T Stadium on Tuesday, April 24 for a youth health and wellness celebration. The celebration honors schools and students that have successfully completed the Fuel Up to Play 60 six-steps focusing on fueling up with healthy foods to have the energy for 60 minutes of activity. Student teams will participate in a Touchdown Celebration pep rally and a physical activity that reinforces the program’s healthy message. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.

In addition to the in-school outreach programs, the Cowboys will host a variety of youth football activities at The Star in Frisco in conjunction with the NFL and USA Football and work with NFL staff to offer student-athletes access to volunteer roles within the three-day Draft event.

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