BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr signed with Baltimore two years ago, he became a mentor to the students at Glenmount Elementary-Middle School.

At the beginning of the school year, he promised a group of kids who did well he would have a big surprise for them, and he didn’t disappoint.

The students, 27 in total, were surprised with a chance to take flight at iFLY indoor skydiving in White Marsh.

“They’re so deserving to celebrate all their accomplishments, so it’s just a thrill,” Glenmount teacher Erin Hauser said.

In order to qualify for the trip, the eighth graders chosen to take part had to take a lunch period to mentor the second graders.

“They had to read all year long. Every week they went up to the library with Miss Hauser and their reading buddies and they read, they read, they read, they read,” second grade teacher April Poknis said.

They read so much, all of the second graders’ reading levels increased by at least a year, some even more.

“It’s not about what your grade is, it’s not about if you pass or fail. it’s about fun, it’s about connection, it’s about building the relationship with our eighth grade mentor,” Hauser said.

As they prepared to take flight, eighth-grader Adrianna Neal confessed she was scared.

“I’m afraid of falling through that thing,” she said.

Despite her fear, she flew just fine, as did all the kids, a great reminder that hard work pays off.

“This seems to me to be a huge motivator for those kids, Carr said. “They work so hard throughout the year advancing their literacy, eighth graders and second graders working hand-to-hand to have accountability. Everybody’s improving, I figure what a fun way to still have education and learn but have fun at the same time to show appreciation from the Carr Cares Foundation and myself for the hard work they put in during the school year.”

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