GIANTS HELP DEDICATE KIPP NEWARK ACADEMY'S NEW FACILITY
BY MATT COHEN
Between practicing during the week at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center and suiting up on Sundays in MetLife Stadium, the New York Giants are accustomed to world-class facilities.
This season, the Giants helped open another first-rate venue at KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy, a public high school operated by the KIPP NJ charter network. Jonathan Casillas, Janoris Jenkins, Trevin Wade, Bobby Hart and Ryan Nassib were all on hand for a special ribbon cutting ceremony to open the school's newest location. The academy will house approximately 900 students in grades 9-12.
Big Blue also helped dedicate a new 130-foot by 120-foot turf field next to the school. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Giants ran a football clinic with members of the KIPP NCA Panthers football team.
"I gave them a little bit of what it was like to be linebacker," Casillas said. "I told them that the linebacker is like the quarterback of the defense and they need to forget the last game and move onto the next game."
"It's always fun giving back to the kids, especially football kids" added Jenkins. "Just helping them out with fundamentals and techniques and showing them the way you play the game."
KIPP New Jersey schools are part of the nationally recognized "Knowledge is Power Program", a non-profit network of college-preparatory, free, public charter schools educating elementary, middle and high school students, according to the KIPP NJ website.
Working with the football team and being on-hand for the dedication hit home for Casillas, who grew up in nearby Linden and attended New Brunswick High School.
"It's truly amazing to have this platform with the New York Giants," said Casillas. "As a captain and a Jersey guy, it's amazing being able to come back here and talk to these kids that I was once in the same position as."