While the Temple football players are full swing into their offseason workouts, they have also been taking breaks on Fridays during the spring semester to spend time mentoring and inspiring students of the Camden Charter School Network.
Drew Katz, a member of the Temple University Board of Trustees and benefactor to Camden’s Charter School Network, promoted the partnership as part of the Rachel & Drew Katz Foundation Community Service Initiative.
The program is to run throughout the spring semester every Friday from 9 a.m. to noon at one of the network’s three schools -- Camden’s Pride, Camden’s Promise Charter School, and Katz Dalsey Academy.
On Friday, nine Temple football players -- quarterback Anthony Russo; running backs Re’Mahn Davis, Onasis Neely, and Mike Mitchell; tight ends David Martin-Robinson, Kaleb Prejean, and Nick Picozzi; and receivers Kadas Reams and Branden Mack -- visited Camden Promise Charter.
The players spent time working with the youngsters in gym class and had lunch with the elementary and middle-school students. Players also talked to the youngsters about the importance of teamwork and respecting each other.
“I like this," said Christa Hahn, principal at Camden’s Pride Charter School. "It’s important for the kids because they feel important that these people are coming in to spend time with them.”
For Russo, who will enter his third season as the Owls starting quarterback, it was his third straight week working with the youngsters.
“Just the atmosphere and smiles the kids have on their faces, the way they look up to us, it is infectious and puts a smile on my face,” he said.
Interacting not only with football players but college students is another benefit of having the players attend, said Bill Helmbrecht, the co-founder of Camden’s Promise Charter School.