2010 Oakland Raiders: 5th Graders Are Smarter Than Oakland Raiders

Elias Trejo@@Elias_TrejoSenior Analyst IIApril 27, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Thomas Howard #53 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after a play against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 18, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

During the offseason, you see many types of reports. These include articles about failed drug tests, who got into trouble during the offseason or who is holding out and not showing up to camp? These articles are always on the spotlight or main pages around the web.

All the negative articles written like that give out a bad perception on the NFL and its players. Most would think based on the front pages, that the NFL is filled with criminals or hooligans.

It's rare that you see a positive story coming out on the good deeds players do for their community. It's not because they don't happen, but because its not the juicy story that most sources like to write about.

Let's take a break from all the NFL Draft and negative stories circulating around the web and focus on a recent good deed done by Thomas Howard and other players from the Raiders Organization.

Howard is the founder of the Thomas Howard Foundation. He has a history of giving back to the community and he loves inviting his fellow teammates to help out. They recently set out to a local elementary school to find out if they were smarter than 5th graders.

Howard, Tyvon Branch, Mike Mitchell, and Jerome Boyd aren't guys that you want to mess with on the field, but the 5th graders from Anna Yates Elementary took them to school in the "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader" competition.

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Here is a little bit of info about the event from the Thomas Howard Foundation press release:

Is Thomas Howard of the Raiders Smarter Than a 5th Grader? On April 23 Howard, starting Linebacker for the Oakland Raiders, takes his teamwork skills to the classroom as he helps to prepare Anna Yates Elementary fifth graders to standard testing. The Thomas Howard Foundation’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” program, launched to Anna Yates 4th Grade class in 2009, is designed to support curriculum reinforcement through fun activities.

Howard brings along two of his NFL team mates to rally in a game-style format answering questions given by the teaching staff in the math and language subjects. Howard also brings along his partner,
After School All Stars a nation-wide program that provides at-risk youth with enriching after-school programs.

So will the 5th graders be up for the challenge? “It’s hopefully the other way around,” says Howard. “My teammates and I are pretty scholarly and will put on a good fight, but ultimately we want the students to be prepared for their upcoming nation-wide tests.”

Thomas Howard Foundation launched in 2009 and aims to raise awareness and funds to provide children and young adults with the necessary tools to enhance their academic and athletic goals. The Foundation benefits youth ages 9 to 18 who seek to excel in both education and organized sports activities. Current programs include the After School All Stars partnership, the Annual Walk-On Scholarship, and the YFL Football Uniforms Scholarship Fund.

Players don't always get the credit they deserve when doing great things for the community. These players should be commended for representing the Raiders off the field in a positive way.

The 5th graders should also be commended for laying the smack down on the Raider players during the competition.

For more information on the Thomas Howard Foundation go to: http://www.thowardfoundation.org/

For more Raiders news and updates follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/RaiderWorldWide