“Good afternoon, second and third graders,” said Tim Wickard, principal at Stout Field Elementary School in Indianapolis. “We are so excited. I know you’ve been waiting all week for this fun event.”
A few minutes later, Colts mascot, Blue, peeks his head through the door and comes barreling into the gym.
“I want to tell you a secret,” said Dr. Jeff Butts, Wayne Township Superintendent. “Do you know that Blue is the most recognizable Colt in the whole organization? More than Andrew Luck, more than any other Colts player, Blue is the most famous Colt.”
He’s made a name for himself on the field and in the community.
“You may not know this, but every year, Blue goes to over 125 different schools to meet students just like you. And he talks about all kinds of different things – whether it’s about being active or being nice to our friends, he delivers all kinds of different messages,” said Stephanie Pemberton, Vice President of Marketing for the Colts. “One of the things we’ve learned is that when he leaves the school, kids want more Blue.”
And last week, he delivered.
“We have teamed up with the Indiana Department of Education to launch a YouTube channel that’s going to have lots and lots of Blue videos on it just for students like you,” Pemberton said. “And they’re going to teach you guys how to do activities, they’re going to teach you about different things in our community, they’re going to give you lots of opportunities to have fun with Blue at any time, with your parents' permission.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jennifer McCormick, introduced the first video on brain breaks.
“Brain breaks are quick activities that boost blood flow and send oxygen to your brain. These breaks help you be a better learner. So today, I’m going to lead you in a brain break. But first, welcome my good friend, Blue.”
As Blue demonstrated the activities, the kids followed along – jogging, hopping, doing jumping jacks, and dancing.
It’s one of six videos Blue will be releasing during the school year, each with a different lesson for kids.
“Blue is beloved by our students, so it makes a difference,” said McCormick. “He motivates kids, he makes learning fun, and it’s a huge commitment on his part.”
Just like the Colts, the State of Indiana is glad to have Blue on their team.
“It’s critical because we can’t do it alone. It takes great partnerships and honestly, the Colts have been wonderful partners, not just for the Department of Education, but for local schools across the state.”
Schools today are being asked to do more than ever before.
“Education is a piece of that and academic learning is a piece of that. But understanding that whole child is really important,” said Wickard. “Because we’ve got them for seven hours a day and it’s got to be their home away from home where they feel safe and they feel protected and we need to take care of them.”
Blue wants to help them do that. He can’t be there all the time, but Blue U can be.
“I think it will be really engaging for kids. I think our teachers will be thrilled to use it,” Wickard said.
“And maybe their parents as well,” said Butts. “They can get their parents engaged – and any time we can increase family time at home and set down our devices, that’s a definite plus for us.”
Bringing people together is what the Colts do. And no one does it better than Blue.
“For an organization like the Colts to continue to bring people together, to give us something positive to think about is immeasurable,” Butts said. “We just appreciate the outreach and appreciate all they’re doing to bring community together.”
You can check out Blue University at Colts.com/BlueU.