Patrick Peterson had hoped to spend his off day this week working in his local community; he just didn’t think that would include jury duty. The Arizona Cardinals All-Pro cornerback had originally planned to open new reading rooms at two different elementary schools.
Driven by a deep commitment to serving low-income and inner-city youth, Peterson still managed to make his presence felt at Moon Mountain and Hartford Sylvia Encinas elementary schools on Sept. 20. And that is why he has been named the NFLPA’s Week 2 Community MVP.
Building on a community outreach program rooted in the Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success, the sixth-year veteran unveiled the sixth and seventh “Patrick’s Corner,” each of which will provide access to 1,200 age-appropriate books and a dedicated reading area for students and their families to enjoy. The rooms are furnished with bookshelves, beanbag chairs, a reading module, a stereo listening center and an audio library.
Since jury duty forced Peterson to miss the ceremony at Moon Mountain, he sent a video message and promised to make it up to the students by hosting a special pizza party.
Later that day, Peterson, along with his wife, Antonique, and daughter, Paityn, attended the second ribbon-cutting event at Hartford Sylvia Encinas. There, he helped students pick out a book to take home using a reading certificate provided to them through his “Pick Out a Book” Scholastic book fair.
“’Patrick’s Corner’ is definitely something huge and something dear to me,” Peterson said. “And, I may have had more fun than the kids did today helping them pick out new books to start building libraries at home.”
Peterson’s beaming smile surfaced again two days later at the Cardinals’ annual team meeting with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. Surrounded by his teammates, Peterson learned of his honor as the Week 2 Community MVP, drawing a thunderous applause for his continued work to provide resources for the next generation.
“Kids are the gifts of our world and the stars of our future,” Peterson said, “and I don’t want to see these little angels falling by the wayside as a statistic.”
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