ATHENS -- Some third graders in Bradford County got a big surprise when they went back to school on Tuesday. They got letters from members of the Penn State football team, fresh off their trip to the Rose Bowl.
Claudia Chacona and Barbara Carl's third-grade students recently got a lesson in writing. The children were having trouble with proper nouns, so their teachers decided to have the kids write letters.
"Let's write to the Penn State football team. And by doing that, they wrote their addresses over and over," Chacona said.
The teachers and many of their students are big Penn State football fans. They mailed the letters in October, and late last month, they got a surprise in the mail. The football players wrote back.
"I thought it was awesome because usually they don't have enough time because they're practicing so much," Nick Grazul said.
The players took the time to write handwritten letters back to the students. They even printed, because the students can't read cursive yet. The students were excited to read their letters to Newswatch 16.
"I've been playing since I was 7 years old. You have to come to a game at Beaver Stadium," Addison Bruns said.
"Keep working hard and I have no doubt that you will one day play football for Penn State," Tyler Goodenow said.
A recurring theme in most of the letters wasn't just football. The players put an emphasis on studying.
"Studying is really important. I study usually for an hour or so a night," Grazul said.
"I do have to study a lot so keep your grades because they are just as important," Goodenow said.
"When it comes from someone other than their teacher or their parents, it seems to sink in a little bit," Chacona said.
The teachers say the lesson worked, too. The students now know how to write proper nouns, and have letters from their idols, too.