Earlier today 100 students from Kipp Central City Primary, an elementary school in New Orleans, enjoyed a day of fun aboard the Carnival Triumph for the first-ever “Read & Rise” literacy day to celebrate their reading achievements as winners of the school’s summer reading challenge.

The event was created in collaboration with Carnival Cruise Line, New Orleans Saints and Scholastic Book Fairs and was hosted by former Saints player Deuce McAllister who taught the students gridiron fundamentals with fun football-themed acitivites while encouraging them to read and stay active.

Prior to the event, all students from Kipp Central City Primary grades 2-4 each received $10 vouchers funded by Carnival to purchase books of their choice at the Scholastic Book Fair and participated in games and other activities held at their school reading rally.

Aboard Carnival Triumph, 100 students who won Kipp Central Primary’s reading challenge, participated in gridiron drills that included the quarterback challenge, vertical jump and three-cone combine drill that are part of the Saints Junior Training Camp activities.

In addition, students enjoyed lunch on board the ship and received backpacks filled with logo items from Carnival and the Saints as well as an ocean-themed book provided by Scholastic Book Fairs. While on board, the children had the opportunity to tour the massive 102,000-ton cruise ship, which is nearly three football fields in length.

“Carnival has been a part of the New Orleans community for more than two decades and we’re delighted to team up with the Saints and Scholastic Book Fairs on this fun football-themed event that provided these kids an unforgettable experience while promoting the importance of reading and literacy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“I’m honored to work with Carnival and Scholastic on behalf of the Saints to encourage local students to keep reading and stay active,” said Saints legend Deuce McAllister. “These kids are so inspiring. We’ve all had a great day filled with fun and football and I think this was a great event to kick off the season.”

“At Scholastic, we know how critically important it is for all children to have access to books,” said Larry Wissinger, director of business development, Scholastic Book Fairs. “By working with organizations like Carnival and teams like the Saints, Scholastic is able to ensure more children are given the chance to become book owners, build their own home libraries and discover the power and joy of reading.”

Carnival is the Official Cruise Line of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans’ largest cruise operator, with two year-round ships, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Dream, carrying 450,000 passengers annually – more than any other cruise line.