Former UF and NFL football player teaches children about kindness

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Third and fourth grade students at Newberry Elementary School started their day with a dance party Thursday.

Major Wright, a former University of Florida standout and NFL star has been visiting schools in Alachua County to get students excited about spreading kindness.

He got the energized kids jumping to their feet to show off their best dance moves.

Terrance Hammonds, a fourth grader at Newberry Elementary School, said he learned to dance from his dad and was excited to share those moves Thursday morning at the school assembly.

Children’s screams filled the air, and their smiles spread throughout the room. The energy was high Thursday as Wright taught the kids the joy that comes from helping others.

He started his foundation, The Wright Way, after having a life-changing experience of his own. Five years ago, Wright saw a homeless man and decided to help him. It sparked a desire and love for doing good deeds.

“In that moment,” Wright said. “I thought I was helping him, but in all actuality, he was helping me.”

This experience gave him a newfound purpose that he is sharing with children. His foundation emphasizes good deeds, and he started an initiative called “Good Deed Tuesday.”

When Wright first started making a regular effort to help those less fortunate than him, he went out in his community every Tuesday.

“I’ve never felt this a day in my life,” he said. “I’ve won national championships, I’ve made it to the NFL. I’ve done a lot, but this one feeling I’ve never gotten.”

After seeing the impact kindness has on others, it is now his mission to teach kids the foundations of kindness and how to pay it forward.

About Elena Barrera

Elena is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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