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Returning to SDS, Former Bills Player Stevie Johnson Reads His Second Book at PAWS Assembly

Football player reads bookWhen a former Buffalo Bills football player comes to your school for a PAWS assembly to read a book he co-wrote, the excitement is hard to contain. That’s exactly what happened when (again) former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson and Charlie Roberts, a Smallwood parent, were the featured guests at a PAWS character assembly.

Johnson and Roberts were back at Smallwood to read the second children's book they co-authored, "Freddy J. Makes His Play" during two assemblies. Sitting on stage, they partner-read the book with each taking a page. The book's main character is based on Fred Jackson and the theme covers perseverance, overcoming obstacles, putting in the hard work and believing in yourself.

Principal Rich Crozier told them that Smallwood was filled with authors and presented Stevie with a copy of "Roary Lends a Paw" which was created through contributions from every student at Smallwood Drive.  

Last fall, Johnson and Roberts helped kick off the PAWS assembly by reading their book  "There's Always a Way with Stevie J!” that teaches kids about overcoming obstacles and is based on Johnson's trademark "Handle Biz, Have Fun" slogan. He took photos with classes, signed kids’ t-shirts, took selfies with staff and then had lunch with Ms. Evarts' and Ms. Klose's kindergarten class.  

For the first book, Roberts, an avid Buffalo Bills fan, got the idea when he kept thinking about what others could learn from Johnson, a seventh-round draft pick who went on to an eight-year NFL career with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

Johnson wants his target audience to know that on the path to success, unexpected challenges will come. Those difficult moments will test their resilience and what's most important is how they respond. It's a message he shares with his players as a coach at his alma mater, Rodriguez High in Fairfield, Calif., and at his many football camps.

Roary Lends a Paw book  kindergarten class on stage  autographing a shirt guest readers with roary two men seated on stage reading