Atlanta Falcons pitch in to rebuild school - New York News

Atlanta Falcons pitch in to rebuild school

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ATLANTA -

It may be the off season, but the Atlanta Falcons are working hard on Friday. They are not working on the field, but in a community that's under construction.

From spreading mulch, to building projects, to painting walls, the catch phrase that seems to follow the Falcons everywhere is appropriate as they rise up to help build an old school and turn it into an academy.

"Everybody is dressed the same. Nobody has a title, nobody has a job. Their role today is to give back and make a difference," said team owner Arthur Blank.

It's something Blank encourages his employees to do every year. This year, they're teaming with Habitat for Humanity to do work on several Atlanta homes, and they are sprucing up an empty building that used to be an Atlanta public school. With the team's help, it will be the home for a new Kipp Ways Academy Charter School.

"Our kids are going to be so excited to see a space that's welcoming to them, that represents their school colors and it allows them to feel like they're at home," said David Jernigan of Kipp Academy.

It's all thanks to the 180 volunteers giving up their time for a good cause.

"We'll, I've done some painting growing up. So I do enjoy it. It's kind of tedious, but it's fun," said Falcons head Mike Smith.

Smith says his father was a teacher and in the summer, he would take painting jobs and let  his son help out.

"Just to see what it looked like when we started the day and the sense of accomplishment at the end  of day, and we're doing something well," said Smith.

"That's what makes this a beautiful day. It's all about a common shared value, of trying to make a difference in people's lives," Blank said.

Workers are also in the English Avenue neighborhood working on five homes.

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