The Los Angeles Rams continue to be an asset to Warren Lane Elementary school. Defensive back David Long Jr. hosted a backpack giveaway for their students.
He handed out 240 backpacks that were filled with pencils, notebooks, pens, and rulers.
“This is an amazing event put on by myself, the Rams, and my agency,” Long Jr. said. “It’s really special to be able to give back to the schools in the community.”
The students wore L.A. Rams shirts that said Inglewood’s iconic slogan, “City of Champions.” Along with getting a free backpack, the students participated in football related activities that allowed them to work on their kicking and passing skills. Students also received Rams rally towels and team mascot Rampage was in attendance. Warren Lane Elementary school principal Shonda Calhoun noted that she felt the excitement of the students from the beginning of the day.
“Something like this they’ll remember forever,” she said. “It’s not everyday you have Rampage on campus, a professional football player on campus … it’s just been a phenomenal experience.”
Calhoun went to every classroom to tell the students about the backpack giveaway a week before and the students eagerly anticipated the event. She told the students to do their best work because they were going to have “a wonderful opportunity.”
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“We’ve been practicing making good decisions, having a growth mindset,” Calhoun said. “So, this is going to tie into the things that we’ve been learning.”
With the help of the Rams, including community affairs and engagement manager Johnathan Franklin, Long Jr. chose Warren Lane for the backpack giveaway.
“The Rams organization have been so supportive of our city, of the Inglewood Unified School District, of all of our schools, our students, our families, our community,” said Inglewood Unified School District county administrator Erika Torres. “We have had the honor of working closely with the Rams.”
The franchise has been a benefactor to the school throughout the years. Back in 2017, the Rams assisted Warren Lane with a campus beautification project and former quarterback Jared Goff recently helped the school rebuild their library.
“We have the beautiful mural painted in front, that was done a few years ago,” Calhoun said. “We also have a special relationship with Jared Goff.”
Long Jr is a native of Los Angeles and attended Bishop Alemany before transferring to Loyola High School. He had a 4.0 GPA during his high school years and committed to Michigan. With the Wolverines, Long Jr. was named on the 2018 All Big Ten first team.
The next year, he became a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Long Jr. believes that if a person has the ability, they should find ways to give back to the community.
“Beyond football, they may or may not know who I am,” he said. “But I want to really help as far as giving them resources and things they need to succeed, whatever path they choose.”