Morgan State football players visited Northwood Elementary School in Baltimore, Md. on Monday, March 6, 2023 to promote literacy. Credit: Photo courtesy of Morgan State University Athletics Communications

BALTIMORE, Md. — Morgan State football players visited a local elementary school to promote literacy and build connections between youths of different ages in the community.

Twenty five football players were at Northwood Elementary School on Monday, March 6, 2023, to read with the students.

“Our director of football operations, Ms. Rasheda Spratley, reached out to Northwood Elementary School as a part of my philosophy on the importance of our football team having a presence in the community,” said Damon Wilson, Morgan head coach. “It’s important to positively impact our youth early so we can instill the importance of an education. We believe that if we show them, they will believe it is attainable.”

For the student-athletes, it was a rewarding experience and an opportunity to give back.

“The kids treated us with such kindness and they looked at us as role models, even though we just met them,” said sophomore defensive end Elijah Williams. “It shows the type of influence we have on youth.”

“I hope they understand how important reading is,” said wide receiver Javante Joseph. “Education is key.”

“We want to show them that giving back to the community is something we should all do,” said junior offensive lineman Dexter Carr Jr. “And that hard work makes you successful in any sport or career.”

“We want to encourage our youth by showing them the student side of our student athletes,” said Wilson. “This age is an impressionable age and it is our hope that we can provide a positive influence for them to model after.”

Wilson hopes to expand the initiative over the years to read to other elementary school students.

“We will continue to serve our Baltimore community first but will also spread our ‘Bear Print’ to other areas,” said Wilson. “The main objective with activities like this is to have our current student-athletes pour back into the community. Our students and coaches were just as excited to be there as the students of Northwood Elementary were to have us in their school.”

The Morgan State football team hosts its annual Spring Game on April 15, 2023 at Hughes Stadium in Baltimore.

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