Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth surprised nearly 600 students at Grape Street Elementary in Watts on Tuesday.
Whitworth attended an assembly to award several outstanding students with a bicycle.
But he didn’t stop there.
After talking to the students about character and integrity, Whitworth demonstrated his own, giving every child -- from kindergarten to fifth grade — their own bike and helmet, which he purchased from several area stores.
The kids jumped and screamed with excitement.
“To personally, yourself, put your money where your mouth is and what you believe in, I think it lets the kids know that you’re not just saying something because you’re told to be there,” Whitworth said, adding, “It’s actually what you believe in, you’re putting your stamp on it.”
Principal Keith Nakano said Whitworth’s words and actions aligned with the culture he is trying to build at Grape Street.
“For the children, it really means a lot to them, not often are they touched by sports players coming to a school site and really spending their personal time,” Nakano said. “It means a lot.”
Tuesday also happened to be Whitworth’s 36th birthday.