Joe Profit, former NFL player for the Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints, signs autographs for fifth graders at Dadeville Elementary School. Profit worked with the fifth graders to help them write a book. | Alison James

Archived Story

The write stuff

Published 12:46pm Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fifth graders at Dadeville Elementary School became authors in the space of three days with help through the Legends and Kids Young Authors Program.

“The Pro Players and Entertainers Network through the NFL Alumni Chapter in Atlanta works with Sarrell Dental Services to enlighten and help the kids of Alabama to expand their horizons,” said Dr. Joseph Profit.

Profit is a former NFL player turned international businessman and philanthropist. He said he wanted to get involved to encourage students, particularly student athletes, to get excited about academics and become more motivated and creative.

“This has been an awesome experience,” said Principal Chad McKelvey. “We really didn’t know what to expect to begin with, but the closer it got, the bigger it’s grown and the more significance that we’ve seen.”

The DES students created the third in a series of books – the first two having been created by Anniston and Bessemer students – about Dr. Marlo. Dr. Marlo is the monkey mascot of Sarrell Dental Services.

“They had a blast doing it,” McKelvey said. “Throughout the project, they began to understand what they were doing and how it’s important for them. I think they’re excited that their names are going to be in a book – it’s a way for them to do something that can positively affect our community, and it shows that they are capable of giving back just as much as an adult.”

Some of the students worked on writing, and some worked on illustrating.  The book, Dr. Marlo Legacy Tour, will go through an editing process, and Profit said they will try to have the book edited and published by Christmas, although it can take about six months.

“It’s really been an incredible experience for our students,” McKelvey said. “You just see their faces light up, and the wheels start turning. The product that they have produced is impressive.”

McKelvey said they also tried to tie the project into the school’s Leader in Me program, in which they highlight the “seven habits of happy kids.” “I think that really started to sink in, and you really started to see how this story can show how our kids can think win-win, help others, be proactive and take responsibility, not only for their teeth but for their talents and what they’ve done,” McKelvey said.

The project ended Oct. 19 when all the fifth graders met to hear the synopsis of their book and get signed autographs from Profit and free teeth cleaning packets from Sarrell Dental Services.