Collins was greeted by screaming fans of the black and gold upon his arrival before he was able to begin speaking with the elementary school students.
Collins discussed the importance of staying active while also finding time to sit down and read, something that the fullback said he always loved growing up. As a play off the NFL’s PLAY 60 campaign, Collins instead emphasized “Play 60, Read 20” to stress the importance of finding time to read each day.
“In my household, it was always stressed that we needed to be readers and we needed to be students first,” said Collins. “In college, I found that a lot of athletes lost that student-athlete mentality and I want to give the right impression of what a professional athlete is. We do read, we do study, we get a lot of homework and it all begins with being able to enjoy and comprehend books and reading.”
At the conclusion of the his speech, the school was presented with a check valid for 600 free books, a gift that lead to even more cheers from the students.
Finally, Collins sat down to read a story to the students after letting the children decide on the book selection. Collins read Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes, written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean, with plenty of help and participation from his audience.
“The kids were very energetic but disciplined which was awesome to see,” said the fullback. “It seemed like they’ve read Pete the Cat before (since they all read along) but like they’re going to continue to keep reading. That’s great to see, we really had a lot of fun.”