Panthers promote reading, fitness at Marvin visit

Feb. 28, 2013 @ 06:35 PM

Students at Marvin Elementary learned the importance of fitness and reading from a few special guests on Thursday. 

Tight End Greg Olsen and Running Back Jonathan Stewart from the Carolina Panthers read to the students to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and promote the National Football League’s Play 60 initiative.

The students swarmed to high five the players as they walked through the crowd to chairs for their reading.  

They were joined by mascot Sir Purr, TopCat cheerleaders Stacey and Katie and a host of personnel. The Dr. Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2 of “Cat in the Hat” fame also made appearances. They ran through the crowd, spraying students with silly string. 

The students listened to the story, then participated in a game show about the story and physical challenges.

They had a panel of judges featuring teachers and first-grader Adam Smith, a Marvin Elementary student who is on the Panthers’ Make-A-Wish roster. The announcer said he is the first panther to wear a Number 1 jersey.

There was a dance contest, obstacle courses and other contests for the children to be active.  

Principal Jay Jones said the students had been excited all morning, which made moving 650 students into a gymnasium no small feat. 

He hoped the students would learn that “reading and fitness are cool” and that they should be celebrated, not something they were forced to do.

Jones practiced what he preached during the pep rally, when the students challenged him to do 20 push-ups and he did 21. 

The pep rally was made possible by the Pasko family, who won it in a silent auction. 

In addition to the event, the Panthers gave the school a $500 grant to promote reading and fitness activities.