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Rams team up with area teens to tackle diversity

(KTVI)– On the playing field these Affton Cougars and Normandy Vikings are fierce competitors.

But Thursday these students joined together with the Rams to cooperate.

“You know we’re just separated by a few miles and a lot of the issues in their neighborhoods are the same issues as our kids are going through. And really they’re just the same kids,” says Dan Olive, Affton’s Athletic Director.

This is the second year for the Rams Blitz program that promotes diversity, respect and understanding.

“It was interesting because we talked about diversity and stereotypes and we came together as a whole, Affton and Normandy, and set aside our differences and build a new foundation with each other,” says Affton Junior Westerband Lindor.

Thursday was the fourth and final meeting for the two schools. At Thursday morning’s sessions students talked about race, religion, stereotypes and more.

“I didn’t think it was going to go as good as it did,” says Normandy Senior Jessi Watson.  “So this was a good experience for me.”

The Rams patterned the partnership idea after the Cincinnati Reds and their outreach work with teens in the community.

“You hear these kids talk about how they’ve been stigmatized,” says Nicole Woodie, the Rams Community Outreach & Player involvement Manager.  “So when they’re having open and honest conversations with maybe kids that through that and you see those barriers break down and that’s what we want to see.”

Two schools from two different backgrounds might help make a better region, and Affton and Normandy would probably agree.

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