Former Ravens help rebuild elementary school playgrounds

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - Volunteers came to Hilton Elementary School as part of the NFL's season kickoff program. Their goal is to convert an old, dilapidated and underused playground into something that children wouldn't be afraid to play on.

Fencing, cement and power tools are being used to replace splintered benches and outdated play equipment. Former Ravens and Superbowl champs Jamal Lewis and Duane Starks were among the many workers who helped renovate the playgrounds.

"You know if you're gonna do it you gotta do it right so I can't miss a spot," Duane Starks, former Ravens DB said.

The two have been very busy since retiring but haven't retired from representing the NFL and the Ravens. The NFL's play 60 program encourages children to be active for at least an hour a day, something Starks highly supports.

" When I was a kid it was more about basically going out playing football going out playing sports you're always outside and then they came with all these video games and now a lot of kids are inside doing this and working their thumbs instead of working their minds and their bodies," Jamal Lewis, former Ravens RB said.

Youth also learned that eating balanced meals helps them perform at top levels on the field and in the classroom.

" If you have fast-food on every corner a lot of times that's what you resulted to, but I think if we educate these parents and educate the kids as well what they should be eating and what they should put in their bodies," Lewis said.

They also planted a garden to further emphasize the points of healthy eating.

" And then they'll take it right thru the crop and then my wife who's the art teacher does cooking classes with the kids she actually teaches them how to eat cooked foods and eat that they've never done like swiss chard and Brussels sprouts things like that," Kevin McCarthy, the art teacher's husband said.

In the end the children showed their appreciation and cheered for their favorite team.

  * ABC2 News' Danny Allman contributed to this report.

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