By: Jen Russon
Students at Park Springs Elementary School in Coral Springs were part of a sizeable multi-county effort to collect books, sports equipment, and school supplies for a Super Bowl community service initiative.
Known for the past 21 years as “Super Kids-Super Sharing,” the event takes place in whichever city happens to be hosting the Super Bowl. This year, Miami will host it on February 2.
Park Springs Assistant principal Denise Hanson said her elementary school’s student council and debate teams organized the collection of 700 items and took them to St. Thomas University for donation this month, which was part of NFL Green Week.
Describing the morning ceremony at the university’s Fernandez Family Center for Leadership & Wellness, Hanson said it made the kids feel exceptionally good about the act of giving.
“It was really a flawless and beautiful event. Our school, Park Springs, has always found ways to give back to the community, and were welcomed so warmly and respectfully by the NFL players at this event,” said Hanson.
She added hundreds of local school children from Miami-Dade and Broward counties brought thousands of donated books, individual pieces of sports equipment, school supplies and games to the Super Kids-Super Sharing event.
While there, a handful of Park Spring’s fourth and fifth-grade students, chosen to go on the field trip, enjoyed activities organized by the Miami Dolphins.
Hanson said there were representatives from Verizon and the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee at the event, with Verizon pledging to donate 10,000 trees, in honor of Super Kids and the NFL’s 100th season.
The trees will be planted in Florida’s Econfina River State Park, in addition to the 100,000 trees, Verizon intends to donate ecologically devastated forests in Madagascar.
The National Football League, NFL sponsor Verizon, the Miami Dolphins, and the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee developed these types of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of the game, as well as leave a positive green legacy.
Hanson said their goal resonated with her students, and that she knows some of the 100 schools participating are recipients of the collection drive.
She said her students were pleased some of the items they worked so hard to collect and sort would go to children in need, somewhere close to Park Springs Elementary School.
“My students were incredibly excited to be a part of NFL Green week,” said Hanson.