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Learning about leadership: Lions reps visit C.A. Frost

Grand Rapids — C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy Elementary students got a lesson in leadership from the Detroit Lions.

Two representatives from the Lions’ Football Education Division coaches Chris Fritzsching and Pat Sparrow visited the school to talk during a recent assembly about what it takes to be a leader.

They brought a special guest with them: Lions mascot Roary, who drew excited cheers from students as he jogged into the gym.

With Roary’s help, Fritzsching and Sparrow talked about different types of leaders, from the louder ones like Roary himself, to the quiet ones who inspire in subtler ways.

The presentation was part of the Lions Leaders for Life program, which aims to prime “Future Lions” as Fritzsching called them — for success, emphasizing learning, education, ambition, discipline, encouragement and responsibility as key components. 

Lions mascot Roary dances in front of C.A. Frost Elementary students during a recent Lions Leaders for Life assembly

The presentation also highlighted the importance of fitness, nutrition and setting and achieving goals.

The 45-minute assembly was a hit with students, some of whom were already thinking about how to inspire their peers.

Fifth-grade Lions fan Felix Persons is setting his sights on leading by example and showing his friends how to treat each other. 

“I could teach them to be more respectful and responsible,” Felix said, “and kind and safe.”

Even non-football fans like third-grader Jovi Crusen took the lessons of the assembly to heart.

“I think I can be a quiet leader,” Jovi said, adding that she’d like to inspire her fellow students to have good manners.

Lions mascot Roary dances with C.A. Frost Elementary students during a Lions Leaders for Life assembly

Explore more unique video stories of students learning, interesting school programs and educators working to help all children succeed.

Read more from Grand Rapids:
Ottawa Hills football team earns grant from Detroit Lions
Full STEAM ahead at the zoo

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Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley is a reporter covering Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids and Sparta school districts. An award-winning journalist, Riley spent eight years with the Ludington Daily News, reporting, copy editing, paginating and acting as editor for its weekly entertainment section. He also contributed to LDN’s sister publications, Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon. His reporting on issues in education and government has earned accolades from the Michigan Press Association and Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Riley’s early work in journalism included a stint as an on-air news reporter for WMOM Radio, and work on the editorial staff of various student publications. Riley is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He originally hails from western Washington.


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