WWE Superstars Tell Westfield Kids Brains Beat Brawn
Wrestlers talk reading, education with kids at St. Maria Goretti School
WWE Superstars Mick Foley, The Miz, Natalya and Kofi Kingston at St. Maria Goretti School in Westfield (wibc.com photo: Ray Steele)
Less than 24 hours ago, some of them were beating each other up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. But before they left central Indiana, the wrestlers of WWE visited school kids to let them know the brain is more important than brawn.
Listen to Ray Steele's interview with Mick Foley:
Listen to Ray Steele's interview with Kofi Kingston:
Children at St. Maria Goretti School in Westfield got a unique reading lesson Monday - several WWE superstars read to their classes. Bloomington native and longtime wrestler Mick Foley was among them - Foley is also a best-selling author and just published his third children's book, "A Most Mizerable Christmas", featuring many of the wrestlers as characters. The book's central antagonist, The Miz, also was on hand to read along with Natalya and current Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston.
Foley began writing books during his wrestling career - three of his memoirs were New York Times best-sellers, and he makes much of his living as a writer and stand-up comedian now that he is mostly retired from the ring. Though they can't visit every school, "we can show kids all around the country and all around the world that our Superstars and divas are out there talking about the importance of reading and treating each other with respect."
Foley says the philanthropic work WWE does in the cities it visits is what sets it apart. "What we do is unlike baseball in the sense that, if a guy can hit three-hundred in the minor leagues, he's going to move up to the next level. If we don't connect with our fans and care about our fans, we don't have a line of work." WWE superstars also spent time at Gleaners Food Bank and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health during their weekend in Indianapolis.
Kingston says he loves this part of his job, because he knows how he would have felt if he were in the shoes of the kids. "I don't know how I would have reacted had one of my favorite WWE Superstars come into my auditorium and talked about reading. Just to be in the position to where I have a little bit of influence, I'm glad to be able to do something positive."
Kingston was born in Ghana and came to the U.S. with his family at an early age. He says he wants kids to know what was instilled in him by his parents, that reading and doing well in school are vital, even in his line of work. "Most of us are college graduates. We all realize the importance of education, because wrestling is not going to last forever. We always want to have something to fall back on."