Tennessee — Mary Ingles Principal Tracy George asked her young students, patiently sitting Indian style in the school cafeteria, if they knew who was there to see them Wednesday.
Many were unaware of the 6-foot-4 visitor who was hiding behind lunch tables, but others loudly whispered their guess – “Randy Moss.”
And they were right. As part of his Rewarding Excellence program, the Tennessee Titans wide receiver and Rand native went to Mary Ingles in the Tad area of Campbells Creek and to Malden Elementary, where he attended school more than 20 years ago, to recognize students there.
Two years ago, Moss began the program in effort to reward students for making the honor roll and to give others an incentive to work harder in school. On Wednesday, about 79 students received toys and electronics Wednesday for their success in the classroom.
Moss, 33, and his friends arrived at the schools with a U-Haul full of items purchased mainly from Walmart and Toys-R-Us on Corridor G. Students whose grades warranted them a spot on the honor roll would have the opportunity to pick a toy from the selection. Those students whose grades weren’t high enough for the honor roll were urged not to be discouraged, but to keep working hard on their schoolwork to get to the honor roll.
“I’ve always felt that it’s important for parents and children to understand how important an education is,” Moss said. “It’s easy to lose track of the objective sometimes, but as a parent myself, my main goal is to make sure my children stay on top of thing.