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Green, Thomas Read to Elementary Students

Posted Nov 29, 2011

Tight ends Virgil Green and Julius Thomas spent part of their off-day Tuesday reading to local first-graders at Knapp Elementary School.

DENVER -- On Tuesday, Broncos tight ends Virgil Green and Julius Thomas visited Knapp Elementary School in Metro Denver to read to the kids as part of United Way Worldwide's initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018.
As part of the initiative, Mile High United Way asked a representative from the Broncos to help recruit 1,000 volunteers over the next three years. Green stepped up to form Team Virgil Green, and Tuesday marked the kickoff of United Way's three-year plan.
Green, who holds a degree in criminology, said that while growing up, he had trouble learning. His mother noticed that and put him in classes designed to help him succeed. He says he wants the kids to understand that education is important.
"I understand we do have a big impact on kids," Green said. "I just want kids to understand that just because you're educated doesn't mean you're a nerd or anything like that. There's a lot of great things that could come from being educated."
Green volunteered to be the Broncos representative in this United Way project because many of his high school friends didn't take school seriously, and are now still living with their parents and unable to find a decent job because of the relaxed approached they took to school. He doesn't want the youth of today to take that approach and hopes by reading to kids, he can help steer them in the right direction.
"I don't want those kids to end up like a lot of my friends who are now regretting the fact that they didn't put all the effort they could into school," Green said. "As many kids as I can motivate and let them know that for me, education took me far to get my degree but also led me to the NFL as well. There's a lot of different (avenues) that are going to happen and come when you're educated and reading."
Green and Thomas read two books to a class of first-graders, C is for Centennial: A Colorado Alphabet by Louise Doak Whitney and Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. Miles the Mascot acted out the scenes from both books, much to the children's delight.
After the group session, Thomas and Green broke off into two groups to read a few more books and interact with the students.
Green's program through the United Way is called Team Virgil Green: Tutor, Mentor, Read! Anybody can go to UnitedWayDenver.org to join Team Virgil Green and volunteer their time to help kids in Metro Denver.
By volunteering their time, Green, Thomas and the rest of the Broncos hope they can inspire others to do the same.
"The relationship with the Denver Broncos organization and the players is critical to the success of this program," said Greta Walker, United Way's senior director of strategic relationships. "They are being the examples that we need, showing our community that not only are we asking you to get involved to give back, whether it's to give, advocate or volunteer, but they're doing it as well. We hope that people will follow in their footsteps, start pledging their time and we can help more kids across the state."

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