Peyton Manning isn't the only legendary Colt with an unsettled future.
Reggie Wayne doesn't know where he'll be playing next year either.
Despite the uncertainty, Wayne is doing everything possible to make a mark on Indianapolis.
Yesterday he appeared at Washington Irving IPS 14 Elementary School to help celebrate a grant award of $20,000 to help the near East side school improve reading initiatives.
Wayne appeared on behalf of Verizon who is distributing more than $46,000 in grants to to local nonprofits. The grant to the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation is the. The grant to IPS 14 is the largest single donation being made. He appeared before an assembly of all students, speaking on the importance of listening to parents and teachers, keeping good company and getting a strong education. He also spent time reading on a new e-reader to a small group of students in the library. In conjunction with Wayne's appearance, Verizon donated knit Super Bowl stocking caps to all the students. The full text of the press release follows this article.
Washington Irving school faces many unique challenges as they service many homeless children as well many suffering with unstable or abusive homes. The $20,000 grant will help purchase e-readers designed to make reading more attractive to the students as well as to give them access to scores of books at the touch of their fingers.
Wayne was enthusiastic and engaged and the kids loved him. They broke out into several chants of "Reg-gie, Reg-gie" and enjoyed his answers to questions about his childhood. When reading with the students, Wayne was warm and personable. He shared how he wants to be a history teacher and that his wife is an elementary school teacher. Wayne was comfortable with the kids and took seriously his responsibility to inspire the children.
Afterwards, Wayne gave interviews to local media. He was frequently asked about Chuck Pagano as well as his future with the Colts. Those interviews are available on line. Wanye spoke highly of the new coach, remembering him from their time together in Miami, and mentioning that Ed Reed (Wayne's college roommate) loved him. Wayne also spoke realistically about his chances of coming back to Indianapolis, making it clear that while he wanted to be back, there are things out of his control.
My questions with him went in a different direction.
VERIZON AWARDS “$46K FOR 46 PLAY” SUPER BOWL GRANTS
IPS SCHOOL WITH LARGER HOMELESS POPULATION BENEFITS FROM FIRST GRANT
INDIANAPOLIS—Verizon announced “$46K for 46 Play” Super Bowl grants today and selected its first recipient as the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation for a $20,000 donation.
The first of the $46,000 in community grants will benefit the dedicated teachers and 571 students at Washington Irving School 14. The elementary school enrolls children from area homeless shelters who persevere in the face of conditions much beyond their control: poverty and homelessness. The grant will be used to purchase e-readers for the school and help the foundation target district-wide initiatives to boost academic achievement.
“The conditions many of these children face outside of school often make for a challenging day in school,” said Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who addressed all the students in an afternoon assembly. “We’re here to let them know that winning top grades is just as important as winning a championship. You’re a winner when you do your best and stay in the game.”
“$46K for 46 Play” is a new program offered by Verizon this year – recognizing the historic moment of bringing a Super Bowl game to Indianapolis for the first time. Through the initiative, Verizon will provide $46,000 in grant support to Hoosier nonprofits. Two more grants will be announced in the city leading up to the game.
“Verizon is a company committed to helping our community succeed,” said John Granby, president-Indiana/Kentucky/
The School Motto poses a similar challenge to students: “Good, better, best. We never let it rest, until our good is better, and our better is best.”
IPS Superintendent Eugene G. White said the grant will support learning initiatives already underway in the district. “Our students often face challenges well beyond their control,” he said. “By transitioning our children to e-readers, we can give them a jumpstart in reading.”
The Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation, the nonprofit support arm of the state’s largest school district, is receiving the single largest grant from the “$46K for 46 Play” program. “Just like players on a football field, we’re in the business of helping our kids get to the goal line,” said Linda Broadfoot, executive director of the foundation. “We are so grateful for Verizon’s generosity in helping IPS students get a leg up on the competition.”
Verizon also donated one knit cap per child at the school – a recognition that no child should be left out in the cold when it comes to education or housing.
“Having an NFL player address our students is inspiring as we prepare for state assessment tests and practice lesson scrimmages,”said Principal Paul Mikus. “The discipline required of professional athletes is a model for our students as well. Education is the training ground for future success.”
Verizon’s additional grants will be announced at later times leading up to the Super Bowl.
About Verizon Wireless in Indiana
In Indiana, Verizon Wireless has more than 700 employees and 36 company-owned retail locations in 25 cities, including Anderson, Avon, Bloomington, Carmel, Clarksville, Columbus, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette, Lawrence, Mishawaka, Merrillville, Muncie, Noblesville, Plainfield, Portage, Schererville, South Bend, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Warsaw.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 107.7 million total wireless connections, including 90.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with nearly 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/
This city, not the team, the city will be a worse place without him, cmon grigson, continue to pay the man
Nice interview. Envoius envious envious. I liked that he referred to it as a class organization, because right now it seems a little disfunctional and bitter. Transition phase, I hope. 87 said all the right things and seems like a particularly centered, level-headed guy. (Note to self... maybe he can help me file my income taxes ina couple months....) Touching, really, that he said 88's Ring of Honor induction was Reggie's best day as a Colt. Especially since he's previously said 88 was not much of a take-you-under-his-wing teacher. Nate, did you give him a copy of Blue Blood?
Wonderful interview, Nate. Great questions, and I think Reggie loved the chance to talk about Reggie Miller and Marvin Harrison. It´s impossible not to like him. He´s one of the best examples of what the Colts are all about, true leader, true team player, true professional. Hw will be there with Marvin one day, there´s no doubt about that, and it will be incredibly emotional for all Colts fans.
Hopefully, under the new regime, you will get media credentials for the team more often. That was an awesome interview
Great job of showing the proper affection that Reggie deserves by keeping the interview about him and what he means to Colts fans.
(Sure it would have been easy to ask him about Peyton and Irsay etc.)
@18to88 Great interview with Reggie Wayne; like you, I hope he returns to the Colts in 2012.
@18to88 That was a great, and fun interview. Also I am envious you got to chat with Wayne. He seems like a really cool guy
Great interview. Of course we'll have to celebrate Reggie appropriately, too. And Saturday. This is why I loved the most recent Peyton interview. We see regular dudes. Reggie seems more resigned to the uncertainty than Peyton. But Peyton seems more sentimental about all the people moving on. Thanks Nate
@bzwerf That was absolutely my impression of him. The. real. deal.
@PancakesPodcast Hey, now I know what Nate looks like!
@HMATTHIAS he's a beautiful man
@PancakesPodcast I want to be him, if just to chat with somebody like Wayne, lol
@PancakesPodcast in an elevator?
@HMATTHIAS you'd be forced to interview Bill Polian while wearing a Jets jersey
@PancakesPodcast If I get to interview a classic Colt, I will. Probably just get stuck interviewing Hogelboom or something
@HMATTHIAS he's going to run a 'be nate for a day' auction, you should bid
@18to88 that was not at all was I envisioned but good job all the same.