African-American Families Expose Kids to Positive Values of Time, Family, Goals, Role Models & Success
HOUSTON- It was not easy for Nichole Newton to bring her children from Humble to the NFL Experience at the George R. Brown in Houston, but it was a sacrifice that one loving mother was willing to make during Super Bowl Week to see her sons happy and enjoy a once in a lifetime adventure.
UNDERSTANDING LOVE, SACRIFICE AND THE BUDGET
“It was difficult on the (family) budget,” Newton said. “I want my children to understand this, but it was important for me to teach a life lesson by giving them something to help expose them to successful people, help them understand life and see their potential.”
The National Football League showcases the NFL experience in small slices of NFL culture and life during a week of activities before the big Sunday showdown between AFC and NFC champions.
NFL Experience is pro football’s interactive theme park offering participatory games, youth football clinics, merchandise from NFL shop and free autograph sessions from NFL stars and showcase attractions including personalized digital photos, upgraded 40-yard dashes and vertical jumps against NFL players on LED screens, a virtual reality football experience, Super Bowl rings and a new NFL Draft set.
To enjoy the experience, parents had to pay admission fees of $35 per adult and $25 per child,12 and under.
Newton said she not only shelled out the necessary funds for admission, but also for parking, food and other expenses for the event.
Joshua Kiel, 11, has never played competitively on a football team and spent his time trying to learn and understand the inner workings of the game.
“I liked what they do here to show you things you,” he said. “You really don’t see or hear everyday. I have not been on a team. I just play a little at my apartment because Basketball is my sport and my focus right now.”
Much of his time was spent running and kicking field goals, catching footballs in various booths.
“It was action in every play and every booth,” he said. “I like the open fun and get that touch of the real thing.”
He said seeing the game up close has peaked his interest and might cause him to seek out an opportunity to play on a team.
Tyler Darden, 11, was amazed at being able to take in all the stuff and learn all about what real professional football players do.
“I am not playing right now, but am interested in playing, learning more and being part of the action,” he said. “However, gotta wait till my mom lets me and must keep my grades up first.”
“I am ready and will be ready.”
Newton said academics in her number one focus with her kids, but hopes this trip helps them understand what it takes to succeed.
“He has set some good goals and has a dream,” Ms Newton said. “I want him to stay on point – be willing to sacrifice and put in work to be successful in life.”
THE POWER OF ROLE MODELING & BLACK FAMILY MEMORIES
Stephon and Davida Allen of Houston used the NFL Experience as a family fun getaway, but had a hidden motive to teach their children about family values making positive memories in life.
“We wanted to come here as a family together so our kid understand the value of family time and memories,” Davida Allen said. “It also is good for them to see other sides of life outside our neighborhoods and let them experience and see things they have not seen.”
For her 8-year old son Daniel, he has set his goal on making it to the NFL and earning a Super Bowl ring one day.
“I like it because it makes me want to work hard to get to the pros and get my own Super Bowl ring someday,” he said. “It feeds my desire to play football and get to the pros.”
He said he was most impressed with the locker rooms, lights and seeing all his favorite teams and players.
His 10-year old brother Daniel is not a football fan, but said while the experience was memorable, he was not interested in the game, but focused on his education period.
“I really don’t like to play football,” he said “… my life is Science and I like Science and Science is will be my focus for my life.”
Stephon Allen said he support his sons and will encourage them in anyway that steers them to success.
“I wanted my kids to be part of this and see it,” he said. “We love our kids and will do whatever I can do to help them to get to those goals – I will do.”
By: Darwin Campbell, African-American News & Issues
NFL Welcomes Kids From All Over Houston During Kids’ Day
Recap & Photos Below Submitted By: Mercedes Moore of Lopez Negrete Communications
More than 1,000 local children were able to meet some of their favorite NFL players and be active this Wednesday, February 1 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, thanks to the NFL PLAY 60 Kids’ Day event. Children gathered early in the morning at the NFL Experience Driven by Genesis and spent the afternoon among the excitement of Super Bowl Week alongside NFL players. Kids had a chance to meet such figures as Brian Peters and Greg Mancz from the Houston Texans.
In addition, GRAMMY-winning artist Jordin Sparks made an appearance, entertaining the attending children with a small concert and leading them in a dance routine. The event as a whole is part of the NFL PLAY 60 campaign, aimed at getting kids to realize how important healthy living is. All children in attendance that day earned an invite by participating in the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge in the months leading to the Super Bowl.
Among the activities the children enjoyed were football-related games, like Punt, Pass & Kick, and speed and mobility drills.