Skip to main content

Syracuse University Football Players Read to Southside Students

Syracuse University football players were greeted with a resounding “GOOD MORNING!” by students at Southside Academy Charter School recently, which was a bit startling for a handful of them. Invited in to read to students, the players smiled when the students showed their enthusiasm as they prepared to read books.
“Alright, alright!” defensive back Justin Barron said, clapping. “Obviously we all play Syracuse football about 10 minutes away. We just wanted to come by and say hello to you guys.”

Syracuse football players introducing themselves to class.
Syracuse University football players introduce themselves to Southside scholars.

The players, including Barron and running backs Ike Daniels, JJ Branham, Juwaun Price, and Muwaffaq Parkman broke into small groups and read to the students.

Two Syracuse football players read to group of students.
Syracuse University football players read to Southside scholars.

College athletes are often encouraged to give back to their communities, and the proximity to the university presented a fun opportunity to show the importance of reading to children at Southside, which has outperformed the district for 14 years. Some scholars asked questions about football and wanted to hear about their games, others just stared, transfixed at the tall young men in their blue and orange jerseys.

Syracuse football player gives student high five.
Syracuse University football player Juwaun Price slaps hands with students.
Players will be visiting again throughout the year, but first are focused on their final game of the season, the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 21 against the University of South Florida.

Check out a school near you!

About Southside Academy Charter School
Southside Academy Charter School is a tuition-free, public charter school in Syracuse, New York, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

Visit Southside Academy Charter School's blog to read more stories like this.