Draft Continues Work with St Louis Public Schools

January 22, 2008

By Evan Ardoin

Rams linebacker Chris Draft recently paid a special, follow-up visit to each of the 15 St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) that sent their best and brightest student leaders to a special screening and discussion of the film The Great Debaters earlier this month.

Excusing 300 students from a normal school day for the movie screening and discussion was no small task, a fact that was not lost on the linebacker. So, Draft set out to personally thank the administrators, teachers and student leaders that made the event such a success.

Draft began his tour with a stop at Northwest Academy in North St. Louis where he met with the principal of Northwest Academy, Valerie Carter-Thomas, and discussed continuing his involvement with character development in SLPS students.

Principal Carter-Thomas was pleased with Draft’s initiative. “To have such a positive role model in our community is a tremendous opportunity for our kids, especially our young men, to self-evaluate and improve their neighborhoods and schools,” said Carter-Thomas. “As an educator, I couldn’t be happier with the belief Chris has in the ability of the students to take hold of their own future.”

After beginning the day in North St. Louis, Draft went south to Carnahan High School of the Future. Draft also made stops in between at Beaumont High School, Central Visual & Performing Arts, Cleveland NJROTC Academy, Clyde C. Miller Career Academy, Gateway Tech, Metro, Roosevelt, Soldan, Sumner, Vashon, Humboldt 9th Grade Academy, Vashon 9th h Grade Center and the Big Picture School at Kottmeyer.

The 10-year NFL veteran plans to continue his visits with the SLPS schools, and looks forward to increasing his aggressive, grassroots approach to improving opportunities for underserved communities.