Kids in Arlington become part of Super Bowl XLV

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by GEORGE RIBA/WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on February 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 16 at 8:40 PM

Berta May Pope Elementary School in Arlington was buzzing with excitement on Tuesday.

"We're hoping that this is the first of many that come after this," said former Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnson. He was on hand to kickoff a project called Slant45 for Super Bowl 45. SLANT stands for Service Learning Adventures in North Texas.
 
"Today is the day that kids can go and sign up and register and get started making a difference in their community," says Gigi Antoni, president of Big Thought.
 
Kids can sign up at Slant45.org, just like these youngsters at Pope Elementary did.
 
Elizabeth Yelverton is the student council president. "For me it's trying to make the community a better place and bring it closer together for the super bowl," Elizabeth says.
 
They're project is to do something nice, once a month, for the residents at the Arlington Villas. "This month we're having a game night, in April we will make Easter baskets."
 
"It's awesome to be a part of it, and it's cool to represent the school provide a good reputation," says Jacob Reich a student at the school.
 
"The kids that take part in this program today are learning how to be engaged in their community and that will make a difference for their whole life," says Antoni
 
And while the project is new, organizers of Slant45 are hoping the program will be adopted by future host cities. That's how the taste of the NFL began 19 years ago in Minnesota and continues today.
 
"We're hoping to take Slant 45 and make it the second charitable event that the NFL accredits during the course of the super bowl in conjunction with the super bowl." says Johnston. "We're hoping next year in Indianapolis, there will be a Slant46."
 
Johnston is the Action Team Chairman for Slant45 and spent time helping the kids prepare their projects.
 
"This is not an adult grabbing a group of kids and leading them step by step," Johnston says. "It's actually putting them in a position where they have to think for themselves, they have to come up with the ideas, they have to come up with the fund raising opportunities, car washes, bake sales, anything they want to do, to get their project up and running."
 
"Everybody in north Texas that's saying what's the big deal about the super bowl coming here, it's a game, it's here for one day, well no it's not. We're going to have an impact on the community for one year," Johnston says.

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