From the front doors all the way to the library, they lined the walls with their hands outstretched in excitement. A Super Bowl champion was set to grace the hallways of Edgar B. Davis Elementary School in Boston and the students had every intention of making him feel at home.
The greeting, filled with cheers and high fives, was much like the one Danny Amendola receives each time he runs out of the tunnel at Gillette Stadium -- only this time, the New England Patriots wide receiver was once again being lauded for the charitable heart that earned him Week 11 NFLPA Community MVP.
As part of his Catches for Kids Foundation, Amendola unveiled his third “Catch a Book Room” on Nov. 16. The reading room provides access to 600 age-appropriate books and features colorful bean bags and chairs, a mural on the wall and resources to allow students and their families to read, learn and explore together.
Amendola helped break in the new space by reading a Curious George book to a second-grade class.
In addition to his royal welcome, the 1,100 students expressed their gratitude by making a “Thank You” T-shirt signed by each of them and presenting him with a medal.
“It is honestly just so humbling to be name Week 11 NFLPA Community MVP,” said Amendola, who also received a citation from the mayor for his community work. “I didn’t think it could get any better after running through the halls of Edgar B. Davis and high fiving over a thousand kids, so this is definitely a cherry on top and further sparks our mission to provide colorful and fun environments for kids to come and grow themselves through reading.”
The mission of the eight-year veteran’s Catches for Kids Foundation is to improve the lives of low-income children and their families by providing daily opportunities, support, resources and life-changing experiences.
Amendola has carried out that purpose by opening his first and second “Catch a Book Rooms” at Robert Frost and Taylor elementary schools in Massachusetts. For the past three years he has also hosted more than 100 Cathedral High School students for a VIP experience at Patriots training camp, where he encourages them to read and work hard in school. In addition, he’s hosted these same students for a Back to School program at a local Walmart, where they each received school supplies and a Walmart gift card.
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