Area students to be rewarded for Super Bowl projects




Posted on January 11, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 12 at 11:30 AM

GRAND PRAIRIE — Recording artist Jordin Sparks and some famous Dallas Cowboys will join forces Wednesday to give a big thanks to nearly 20,000 youngsters who have spent the last year trying to spruce up North Texas ahead of Super Bowl XLV.

It's all part of Slant 45, an education initiative teaching children to uplift others as they embrace the "caring is sharing" concept.

One example: A team-building excercise at Colin Powell Elementary School in Grand Prairie was turned into a DVD and sent to soldiers overseas for Christmas, along with care packages from the kids.

"I thought it was a good opportunity to give back and just realize working as a team," said teacher Kevin Pennebaker.

An estimated 20,000 elementary students from all over North Texas did some type of good deed, logging more than 45,000 hours of community service.

"I felt good about being able to work with my classmates," said student Braylon White.

And they are excited for the opportunity to meet American Idol winner Jordin Sparks at Wednesday's Slant 45 Kids Bowl Bash at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

"I'm very proud of these kids," Pennebaker said. "They jumped right on the project. There were 100 percent and more, and they were very excited!"

Former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush will also be on hand for Wednesday's event, helping North Texas children celebrate their accomplishments — playing a role in the Super Bowl by giving back.