Miami Dolphins Visits Heritage Elementary

Posted Jun 2, 2012

The Miami Dolphins visited Heritage Elementary this week for a school visit and nearly 500 students participated.

“Wow, what a day,” said Shauntay King, Assistant Principal of Heritage Elementary. “Our students have worked really hard all year and were really excited about meeting and working out with the Dolphins. The (Dolphins) staff that came to our school was great. They interacted with the kids and teachers to motivate our students to get fit and even challenged our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to read a minimum of five chapter books over the summer.”

Troy Drayton led the charge for the Dolphins by speaking about the importance of education.

“The kids had an awesome time,” said Drayton, Youth & Community Programs Coordinator. “Talking to the kids prior to the activities about the importance of education and the kids seemed to listen to every word. We look forward to continuing to stress the importance of education.”

Heritage Elementary is a Title I School in Palm Beach County. Title I is The No Child Left Behind program to improve the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged. The No Child Left Behind program is the largest single program of federal aid for elementary and secondary education. Title I is dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for all students by helping them succeed in the regular program; attain grade-level proficiency; and improve academic achievement so that “no child is left behind.”

“I think what makes this experience so special is the combination of the emphasis on three important things: education; physical fitness; and positive choices,” said Rita Criscione, Physical Education Teacher of Heritage Elementary. “This message to students is extremely valuable, especially when they hear this message from the Dolphins’ staff because we know that making good choices throughout their lives is crucial to their success no matter what path they choose.”

Most students attending Heritage Elementary have Physical Education (P.E.) classes twice during a seven-day rotation schedule, although some have P.E. classes once during a six-day rotation.  In addition, students have physical activity recess each day for thirty minutes.

“The offensive and defensive drills were challenging and exciting,” said Criscione. “The staff was helpful and encouraging. The music was blasting. Students and teachers were dancing, smiling, and enjoying a new experience while having a great day of fun.”

The Dolphins impact on students was extremely positive. Below are quotes from Heritage Elementary students about the Dolphins visit:

“It was great to experience real football players’ workout.”  

“It made me like football.  I never played it before.”

“The talks inspired me to stay in school.”

“I got a chance to experience one of my favorite sports.”

“It was challenging, but it was sooooo much fun.”

“It was more fun than regular exercise.”

“It taught me that it is important to be fit and also to read a lot.”

“I wish they could come back again.”

“I had a lot of confidence when I was doing it.”

“It encouraged me to never give up.”

“I liked being outside for a long time.”

“It taught me that exercise and education go together.”

“I learned that I could do anything if I work hard.”

Assistant Principal Shauntay King continued to express the positive impact from the Dolphins.

“The smiles on the kids’ faces were priceless,” said King. “After the visit was over, the kids all had the same question, ‘when are they coming back?’ I am so thrilled that our kids were fortunate enough to have this opportunity.”

The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ mission is to emphasize the importance of education, physical fitness, and positive choices for kids in a safe and fun environment. The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ vision is to prepare the next generation of leaders in staying physically active through our Junior Training Camps (JTC), Youth Football Clinics, and Youth Football Camps.

“The only way to describe this day is to say that it was ‘off the charts’,” said Criscione. “The students had an amazing time! Thank you Derek (Bryant), Ted (Beighey), Troy (Drayton), and the Miami Dolphins Youth Programs for the experience of a lifetime!”

You may visit to sign up for youth football clinics, youth football camps, and school visits.

For more information on the Miami Dolphins Youth Football Clinic, Youth Football Camps, or school visits, contact the Miami Dolphins Youth and Community Programs Department at (305) 943-7272 or

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