Patrick Peterson is more than the star NFL football player with the Arizona Cardinals.  Shortly after signing on for another five years with the Cardinals Patrick decided to give back to his community and the Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success launched its Pick up a Book Campaign.  The program is designed to encourage reading and children’s literacy development at disadvantaged elementary schools. On Friday January 30
Patrick rewarded the students at San Marcos Elementary School in Chandler, AZ with a school wide pizza party.

Patrick Peterson football player reading challengeIn September of 2014 Peterson and his Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success challenged 60 area schools to log more than 100,000 minutes of reading by the end of the semester. The children of San Marcos Elementary School in Chandler, AZ were the first to win the challenge and were rewarded with a pizza party from Papa John’s Pizza along with Patrick and “Papa” John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s who flew in from Kentucky to attend the event.

Prior to the challenge the San Marcos Elementary school had been one of the poorest rated schools for literacy in the nation. Principal Becky Henderson announced that the children of San Marcos are now hovering about fourth place in the nation.

The auditorium was packed with children wearing their Arizona Cardinal Jersey’s and chanting “Patrick, Patrick, Patrick.”  Peterson had visited the children of San Marcos in September challenging them to read and promising that the winner would have their very own Pizza Party hosted by Patrick and a special friend.

Papa Johns donates to Patrick Peterson Foundation for SuccessPatrick Peterson, true to his word, came to host the Pizza Party but also brought Papa John’s Pizza founder, John Schnatter, who ceremoniously donated a check to Patrick’s Foundation for Success in the amount of $58,000.00.
Papa John’s has promised to donate $1.20 to the Foundation for Success for every pizza ordered when you mention “Patrick Peterson” with the order.

The impact that Patrick Peterson has had on the school’s children “has been phenomenal,” said one teacher.  “We were able to get the children to log in all their hours prior to the Christmas break.  Patrick’s commitment has inspired the children in ways we never could.  It was also thrilling for us as educators to see him make a promise to the kids and more importantly keep it.  We are extremely proud of the kids and their effort to win this challenge, they needed someone to believe in and it was nice to see them rewarded for it.”

Patrick Peterson Pizza Party at San Marcos Elementary SchoolIn addition to the reading challenge, Peterson’s Foundation for Success has been building and maintaining libraries called “Patrick’s Corner” in Title I schools and inner city community centers to help keep at risk children reading.

For more information about Patrick Peterson, the Foundation for Success, and upcoming events including the Golf Tournament and the 2015 “Gearing Up” event to help students obtain the supplies they need for school visit the Foundation’s website or keep your eyes right here at SmartFem online Magazine.