When an NFL player leaves a team where he has spent the majority – or all – of his career, he can leave many things behind unrelated to football.
Such is the case for David Bruton Jr., who signed with the Redskins this offseason and in the process left a community in Denver, Colo., where he had established strong roots. That community consisted mostly of elementary schools, where Bruton, while the offseason permits him, continues to play an integral role.
Just last week, he returned to the Denver area to visit three schools – Kenton Elementary, Greenlee Elementary and Columbine Elemtary – continuing his relationship with Mile High United Way. He gave out books for the summer and supplied even more books for their libraries and classrooms.
Through his partnership, Bruton’s foundation, “Bruton’s Books,” is helping low-income children in grades K-3 become strong readers through the Mile High United Way Colorado Reading Corps program, providing books to underfunded schools, libraries and classrooms.
According to his website, one Colorado Reading Corps tutor along with a classroom of 25-30 kids, and daily one-on-one tutoring sessions, has allowed 82 percent of participants, reading at grade level or above, to complete the program.
In March, at Kenton Elementary, Bruton also launched Club Connect, which provides schools with resources to improve early-grade reading through an online reading platform for each child, focusing on the third grade – a critical year for reading proficiency in students.
"It is so important to me personally to do my part in helping children have access to books and develop a love of reading, especially at the elementary school level," Bruton said via his website. "I hope this is just one of many Club Connect programs I can support through my partnership with Mile High United Way and our local schools."
Bruton also plans to attend the Redskins Read Book Fair this Saturday, where 11 different Barnes and Noble locations will provide fans with the opportunity to meet more Washington Redskins players, cheerleaders and local authors, who will be reading stories to children.