Ex-NFL star energizes APS students through reading, working out

Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Tim Green paused after reading the end of the third chapter of his new book, “Kid Owner,” setting his sights on the 75 or so students from Parkside Elementary in Atlanta chosen to hear him read.

They wanted more.

“That’s why I do it,” Green said after passing out copies of the book to the students in attendance. “I love being an author and I love writing for kids. I love seeing that reaction to know that kids are enjoying my stories.”

Green was in town for several reading engagements, and two events Tuesday in cooperation with the National Football League’s Play 60 program. His work with the program incorporates 20 minutes of reading into the regimen, saying the practice helps children in many aspects of their lives.

“Both are supposed to be fun for kids,” he said. “The idea that all you have to do is play for 60 minutes a day to be physically fit, that’s something the NFL is promoting across the country. Kids can also read 20 minutes a day and make themselves stronger mentally and build their character.”

Green, a New York Times best-selling author with nearly three dozen books written, has used the last 16 to appeal to the youth, showing them the sky’s the limit with a quality education.

“I’m not curing cancer or creating world peace,” he said, “but it’s my own way of giving back.”