Interview with Reggie Wayne

CRW_9915Peyton Manning isn’t the only legendary Colt with an unsettled future.

Reggie Wayne doesn’t know where he’ll be playing next year either.

Despite the uncertainty, Wayne is doing everything possible to make a mark on Indianapolis.

Yesterday he appeared at Washington Irving IPS 14 Elementary School to help celebrate a grant award of $20,000 to help the near East side school improve reading initiatives.

 

Wayne appeared on behalf of Verizon who is distributing more than $46,000 in grants to to local nonprofits. The grant to the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation is the. The grant to IPS 14 is the largest single donation being made. He appeared before an assembly of all students, speaking on the importance of listening to parents and teachers, keeping good company and getting a strong education. He also spent time reading on a new e-reader to a small group of students in the library. In conjunction with Wayne’s appearance, Verizon donated knit Super Bowl stocking caps to all the students. The full text of the press release follows this article.

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Washington Irving school faces many unique challenges as they service many homeless children as well many suffering with unstable or abusive homes. The $20,000 grant will help purchase e-readers designed to make reading more attractive to the students as well as to give them access to scores of books at the touch of their fingers.

Wayne was enthusiastic and engaged and the kids loved him. They broke out into several chants of “Reg-gie, Reg-gie” and enjoyed his answers to questions about his childhood. When reading with the students, Wayne was warm and personable. He shared how he wants to be a history teacher and that his wife is an elementary school teacher. Wayne was comfortable with the kids and took seriously his responsibility to inspire the children.

Afterwards, Wayne gave interviews to local media. He was frequently asked about Chuck Pagano as well as his future with the Colts. Those interviews are available on line. Wanye spoke highly of the new coach, remembering him from their time together in Miami, and mentioning that Ed Reed (Wayne’s college roommate) loved him. Wayne also spoke realistically about his chances of coming back to Indianapolis, making it clear that while he wanted to be back, there are things out of his control.

My questions with him went in a different direction.


VERIZON AWARDS “$46K FOR 46 PLAY” SUPER BOWL GRANTS

IPS SCHOOL WITH LARGER HOMELESS POPULATION BENEFITS FROM FIRST GRANT

INDIANAPOLIS—Verizon announced “$46K for 46 Play” Super Bowl grants today and selected its first recipient as the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation for a $20,000 donation.

The first of the $46,000 in community grants will benefit the dedicated teachers and 571 students at Washington Irving School 14. The elementary school enrolls children from area homeless shelters who persevere in the face of conditions much beyond their control: poverty and homelessness. The grant will be used to purchase e-readers for the school and help the foundation target district-wide initiatives to boost academic achievement.

“The conditions many of these children face outside of school often make for a challenging day in school,” said Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who addressed all the students in an afternoon assembly. “We’re here to let them know that winning top grades is just as important as winning a championship. You’re a winner when you do your best and stay in the game.”

“$46K for 46 Play” is a new program offered by Verizon this year – recognizing the historic moment of bringing a Super Bowl game to Indianapolis for the first time. Through the initiative, Verizon will provide $46,000 in grant support to Hoosier nonprofits. Two more grants will be announced in the city leading up to the game.

“Verizon is a company committed to helping our community succeed,” said John Granby, president-Indiana/Kentucky/Michigan Region, Verizon Wireless. “While school is a safe haven for children, sometimes the hours outside of school can be the most daunting. When we can provide these grants to those most in need, then we’re doing our best as a company.”

The School Motto poses a similar challenge to students: “Good, better, best. We never let it rest, until our good is better, and our better is best.”

IPS Superintendent Eugene G. White said the grant will support learning initiatives already underway in the district. “Our students often face challenges well beyond their control,” he said. “By transitioning our children to e-readers, we can give them a jumpstart in reading.”

The Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation, the nonprofit support arm of the state’s largest school district, is receiving the single largest grant from the “$46K for 46 Play” program. “Just like players on a football field, we’re in the business of helping our kids get to the goal line,” said Linda Broadfoot, executive director of the foundation. “We are so grateful for Verizon’s generosity in helping IPS students get a leg up on the competition.”

Verizon also donated one knit cap per child at the school – a recognition that no child should be left out in the cold when it comes to education or housing.

“Having an NFL player address our students is inspiring as we prepare for state assessment tests and practice lesson scrimmages,”said Principal Paul Mikus. “The discipline required of professional athletes is a model for our students as well. Education is the training ground for future success.”

Verizon’s additional grants will be announced at later times leading up to the Super Bowl.

About Verizon Wireless in Indiana

In Indiana, Verizon Wireless has more than 700 employees and 36 company-owned retail locations in 25 cities, including Anderson, Avon, Bloomington, Carmel, Clarksville, Columbus, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette, Lawrence, Mishawaka, Merrillville, Muncie, Noblesville, Plainfield, Portage, Schererville, South Bend, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Warsaw.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 107.7 million total wireless connections, including 90.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with nearly 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

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