Students at John Amesse Elementary School were treated to guest appearances from Miles the Mascot and five Broncos — defensive linemen Malik Jackson, Sealver Siliga and Ben Garland as well as safety David Bruton and tight end Julius Thomas.
Each of the players visited multiple classrooms and read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss to the enthusiastic young students. After reading, each player also answered students’ questions. The main purpose of the event was to encourage kids to do their best in the classroom, which is something Bruton said is now more important than ever.
“Especially with how today’s job forces are, everything needs some type of college education,” said Bruton, who spent time as a substitute teacher in the 2011 offseason. “Every single one of them has mentioned that they want to go to college and graduate and be doctors and lawyers. They’re very ambitious kids. You just have to instill that message that it’s not given to them. Once you get out of high school, you have another four years or eight years or 12 years of school after that. You have to take each day one day at a time, but do great things with them.”
Upon walking into each classroom, the players were greeted with rooms full of applause and big smiles. Garland said the warm reception made him as happy as any of the kids.
“It’s a serious blast, just to see the excitement on the kid’s face to see a Denver Bronco,” Garland said. “It really shows how much of an impact we have on the community. Being able to come out here and put a smile on a kid’s face means the world to us.”
For Thomas, Tuesday was a chance to meet some of the team’s younger fans.
“This is a great opportunity,” Thomas said. “Especially being around the youth because we’re always around adults all day, so being around kids with that excitement, it’s always fun for me.”
Thomas added that he’s hopeful that his message regarding the importance of school will be one that students take to heart.
“It’s paramount for me, just to be able to maybe affect a couple of the kids that are going to remember what you said about education because it’s really the key to finding success,” Thomas said. “And it’s going to help them in so many different aspects of their life.”
Tuesday’s activity was coordinated by one of the Broncos’ community partners, the Mile High United Way. The organization’s purpose is to combat the dropout problem in the United States, where one million students a year drop out of school. Bruton said he would enjoy helping with that cause by visiting students on a regular basis.
“It’s definitely a change of pace and truly a blessing to be able to come out here and shed some type of wisdom on the kids,” Bruton said.