For Rams players, Wednesday, September 6 was a day off. For All-Pro Cornerback Marcus Peters, the day off provided an opportunity to give back to the community that's embracing him with open arms.
"Which one do you like more, the green or the blue?" Peters asked a kindergarten student kneeling down with a backpack in each hand. "The blue? That's a beautiful color," he said before pulling out a sharpie to sign the student's new backpack.
Peters paid a visit to Los Angeles Unified School District's Century Park Elementary to surprise students (grades K-5) with 300 backpacks filled with school supplies. The surprise couldn't have come at a better time as LAUSD students were gearing up to begin the school year while the Rams were getting ready to kick off the regular season on Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders.
"It means a lot when you get an opportunity to come out here and visit the city," said Peters. "I always figured that when I got a chance to become a professional athlete, or whatever profession I was going to get into, that I was going to give back to the less fortunate youth. It's just something that I feel is necessary."
Century Park's Principal Kim Pavajeau was moved to see her student body so excited for the day's guest. All students went home with new backpacks filled with notebooks, writing utensils and other supplies. Pavajeau believes the Rams presence in the community will continue to be a catalyst for positive change in the community and will leave everlasting imprints on today's youth.
"To have the Rams come to Inglewood and help our city to become what it's meant to be is so important," said Principal Pavajeau. "We look forward to the Rams being in our community, improving our community and giving us something to look forward to."
Although this was Peters' first school visit since he joined the Rams, it certainly won't be his last. He wants to build on the relationships recently formed with Century Park's students while continuing to find ways to support them throughout the school year.
"It was a lot of fun. This won't be my last time coming around," said Peters. "I'll come around more throughout the school year, so they can see my face and to let them know that I'll be here to care about them."
The backpack distribution has become an annual tradition for Peters, who has funded similar initiatives during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs and for underserved youth in his hometown of Oakland during the offseason.
For more information about the Rams community outreach initiatives, please visit therams.com/community.
Marcus Peters has been named the Rams' Community Impact Player of the Week. The All-Pro cornerback surprised Century Park Elementary students with new backpacks. Check out photos from the event!