Texans running back Ahman Green and quarterback Matt Schaub joined Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs on Tuesday to launch a coloring book that depicts professional athletes along with insightful messages for young children.
In Playing Together: Tips from the Pros, celebrated sports figures share advice that helps young people with disabilities feel more comfortable and confident about going to school and participating in extracurricular activities.
"I think importantly one of the themes of the coloring book here is providing tips from the favorite Houston sports stars to kids about how can they make kids more comfortable that have disabilities," Jacobs said to a crowd gathered Thompson Elementary.
Schaub and Green got involved in the making of the coloring book as part of their "Houston Tackles Autism" campaign, which in conjunction with the nonprofit Easter Seals has pledged to raise $1 million for autism diagnosis and treatment for Houston families.
"That's our main objective here, to help those kids early on in the early stages of life and childhood to recognize and diagnose autism so that they can get the necessary treatment and support early on before it gets too far along in the process," Schaub said.
The Texans' dynamic duo collaborated with Easter Seals, the leading nonprofit provider of services for people with autism, to create the coloring book tips. The book, which is being given to every HISD kindergartener, will also be used to build disability awareness among children.
After the event, Green stressed how important it is to give children with disabilities the chance to fulfill their dreams and lifelong goals
"They want to be treated just like everybody else in the world even if they might be on crutches or have a learning disability," Green said. "They want you to show them respect and confidence in them in anything they do. That's what they're looking for.
"They don't want to be treated as some special needs type person the rest of their lives. They want to be treated just like anybody else because they know they can get the job done in whatever it is they're doing."
As far as Green's job goes, he said working with these kids is what makes playing in the NFL worthwhile.
"Just seeing all the faces of these kids, parents and teachers who are here at Thompson- this is the very easy part of my job," Green said.