We’re proud to say that one of our education stories caught the attention of Buffalo Bills linebacker Preston Brown. WBFO Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley received an email from Brown’s mother Patrice Brown on December 12 stating that a story about the Urban Teacher Academy was “sincere” and that as a result of our blanket, his son adopts the inaugural first class. Eileen was the only reporter present when the Bills player visited McKinley High School.
Preston Brown appeared inside the McKinley High School auditorium wearing a Bills jersey and a Bills knit beanie. Students who were recently billed as the very first class at McKinley’s new Urban Teacher Academy weren’t sure what to expect.
Brown first handed out Bills knit hats to over a dozen students, then handed them iPads, which made some students cry.
“And I think it’s a great program – so to start that first class with a little bit – something that they can use to do their jobs,” Brown explained.
The Urban Teacher Academy is for students who wish to become future educators.
“I always wanted to be a teacher,” said Buffalo Bills linebacker Preston Brown.
Brown told WBFO that after hearing our story about the program, he wanted to support the efforts of the students.
“I always wanted to be a teacher – to see my dad teaching in Cincinnati public schools – I always wanted to help kids and now that I’m in the NFL I think I now have a platform where I can give advice to children and help them throughout the day, ”said Brown.
WBFO asked Brown if he could switch to teaching at the end of his football career.
“Yeah, probably I mean I want to do something to help the kids – if it’s training, teaching – whatever I do will be kind of that form, so I went to the school to be a teacher, so just the whole curriculum – I really got into that, ”Brown replied.
Acting principal Marck Abraham was very happy to know that the player wanted to give the students back their passion for education.
“Be humble and know that there are people who really, truly care about our students here at Buffalo Public Schools. It’s phenomenal, ”replied Abraham.
“I’m still shocked – still shocked,” said one of the students.
I had no idea it was going to be like this – oh my God! She said in her excitement at the idea of receiving an iPad from the Bills player.
“My heart was beating so hard,” replied another student.
It was a special Christmas present for the students. Brown also took the time to speak with them and offered autographs.
Here is the email we received on December 12, 2017 from Brown’s mother:
Trust that you are okay. Your article on the Urban Teachers Academy was extremely well presented and sincere.
Following your coverage, my son Preston Brown, first middle linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, plans to “adopt” the inaugural freshman class and present tablets to each of the 20 students as Christmas gifts. He plans to surprise them at McKinley HS on Tuesday, December 19 at 1:30 p.m.
I spoke to Felice, their teacher and the school principal to share the good news. They are so thankful and excited for the students.
I just want you to know that your coverage of this pioneering program and its incredible young participants is producing more favor.
Warmest regards, Patrice Brown