Seeing members of the Redskins working with kids in the community makes me realize just how much more effective elementary school education could be if the teachers were celebrities. Not just celebrities, but very large, very strong celebrities. With whistles. Even then, the kids don’t fully listen, but it certainly makes for some interesting visuals.
While Jason Campbell was reliving second grade yesterday, a few of his teammates were turning the tables on their gym class memories. Antwaan Randle El, Rocky McIntosh, and Leigh Torrence joined Andre Carter and his wife Bethany as they hosted the 1st Annual Carter Boot Camp to support the United Way of the National Capital Area‘s Child Wellness Initiative, and all four players seemed to relish being the ones blowing the whistles and giving instruction.
The players led the kids through warmups and an assortment of exercises, all designed not only to make them healthy, but to teach them to be healthy. The most amusing moments, though, came when the players participated and the kids spotted them — trying to hold their legs down for situps, for example.
After the exercise portion of the event, the Carters led the kids on an educational tour through Whole Foods, trying to teach them to make afforadable, healthy food choices in place of the lousy ones that I genuinely make. (Apparently salt & vinegar potato chips have no real nutritional value. Who knew?) The kids generally did well, selecting, for example, ingredients for a healthy pizza — except for the choice of caramel dipping sauce. This, they explained to an incredulous Bethany Carter, was not for their pizza, but for dessert afterward.
“We were told that the majority of kids have to do their shopping at stores like minimarts,” Andre Carter told me. “There are no fresh foods there, which is sad and unfortunate, and helps lead to inner city kids being diabetic.”
This initiative is designed not only to make the kids healthy now, but to teach them how to make healthy decisions in the long-term. “I’ll be checking in with you next week and next month and the month after that to make sure you are keeping up,” Carter told the kids. I don’t think that means that he’s going to Terry Tate the students if they keep trying to buy caramel dip, but hopefully the sentiment will make an impact anyhow.