Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Take a Player to School Sweepstakes Begins

You can help your child enter now – online or in local stores – for a chance to take a Buccaneer player to class with him or her during the 2009 season

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Timothy Wise was the center of attention at Westshore Elementary last fall when he brought two Buccaneers to school with him

Last fall, for at least one day, fifth-grader Timothy Wise was the envy of all of his schoolmates at Westshore Elementary in Tampa.

That Timothy pulled up to school in a limousine was one thing. That former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn got out of that limousine with him was another matter altogether. When Dunn's teammate at the time, Derrick Brooks, showed up at Westshore Elementary a few minutes later, it was officially a great day to be young Timothy Wise.

Timothy's sweet ride and famous guests were the result of a long-running NFL initiative called "Take a Player to School." He had won a sweepstakes – one of 34 around the country – that paired elementary school students with some of the most prominent players in the NFL for an uplifting day at school.

Later this fall, another young student in the Bay area will find out how much fun it is to Take a Player to School, as the program rolls into its sixth year.

Parents of Bay area children between the ages of six and 13 can help their children enter the sweepstakes by visiting NFLRush.com, which is part of the NFL.com Network. Entry forms can also be found in JCPenney locations around the Bay area.

Thirty-four winning students, one for each team in the league and two national at-large winners, will have the opportunity to ride to school with an NFL player and join him in leading their class through a special "Take a Player to School" gym class. Players will share personal experiences with the students and emphasize the important roles that academics, health and fitness played in turning their dreams into reality.

As Brooks and Dunn did a year ago, the visiting player will work with the winning student and his school to plan physical education activities that dovetail with the league's NFL Play 60 campaign. Additionally, funds will be donated to the winning school to support its in-school and afterschool physical fitness programs, giving children the chance to benefit from programs that encourage healthy lifestyles.

Though the visiting players shadow the winning students during the day, they also take time to address the school's assembled students and deliver a message about making smart and healthy choices. They also interact with students during the physical education program, leading exercises and organizing a series of games.

And all of this could happen at your child's school. Help your daughter or son enter today for a chance to win one very memorable day at school.

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