The 2016 Arizona Cardinals are struggling to match the success they found in 2015 en route to the NFC championship game. But even if they don’t make a run at the Super Bowl this year, one Cardinal is still making big-time plays off the field.
On Tuesday, November 15, All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson launched the latest location in a series of reading centers for underprivileged students in the Phoenix area. The newest Patrick’s Corner, sponsored by Western Window Systems and part of Patrick Peterson’s Foundation for Success, is now open at Percy L. Julian Elementary School in Central Phoenix. The corner is a dedicated space in the school where students can choose from among thousands of books and use the area to simply read and get away from the distractions facing them at school.
“Literacy is step number one to being successful in life,” says the 26-year-old Peterson, the Cardinals’ first-round pick out of LSU in the 2011 NFL draft. “[Patrick’s Corner] is just someplace these kids can come in and utilize their time. It’s something that is colorful so it can pop to them, and they can have all type of books and come here and explore.”
About 30 students at Percy L. Julian gathered with the school’s principal, Nicole Shamblin, and representatives from Peterson’s foundation and the Scholastic book company to celebrate the launch of Patrick’s Corner, which is designed for students in underprivileged schools to “ignite the desire to read.”
Peterson himself could not attend the event, but he did leave a videotaped message for the students attending the 30-minute ceremony. Each student in attendance also received a voucher for a free book from Scholastic. And then they broke in the corner by picking out a book and reading.
The Cards’ defensive star’s mother was a schoolteacher who required young Patrick to write a book report on each book he read as a child. It’s what inspired the five-time Pro Bowler to kick off Patrick’s Corner a couple of years ago as part of his foundation, of which Western Window Systems CEO Scott Gates is on the board of trustees.