Tuesday, October 9, 2012
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Atlanta Falcons defensive end Cliff Matthews (98) plays with kids at Clifton elementary School in Atlanta, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Peterson was one of several Falcons players who spent the morning visiting Atlanta-area schools to stress the importance of exercise as part of the NFL's Hometown Huddles program. (AP (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons players used their off day Tuesday to go back to school.
The full roster of 53 active players and eight practice-squad members visited six United Way affiliated elementary schools in the Atlanta area.
Tuesday's volunteer projects were part of the NFL's 14th annual United Way Hometown Huddle.
Quarterback Matt Ryan, wearing his No. 2 jersey, helped with Play 60 fitness drills at Clifton Elementary in Atlanta.
Ryan said players look forward to the event each year.
"It was fun to get out in the community and interact with kids during this special day on the NFL calendar," Ryan said. "I know my teammates and I always look forward to this day and try to make a difference in the lives of children in any way we can. I think it was a great day for everyone involved."
Players and staff also visited Books for Africa. The team's rookies worked with fans who volunteered to box up books to send to needy children in Africa.
Also, members of the Atlanta Falcons Women's Association prepared and served lunch to the homeless at Crossroads Community Ministries.
The Falcons have had full participation from players in the event the last five years.
The Falcons, who at 5-0 are the only undefeated team in the NFC, will return to practice on Wednesday as they prepare for Sunday's home game against Oakland.