NFL star returns to his former Kansas City, Kansas grade school

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- An elementary school in Kansas City welcomed a famous graduate to be principal for a day on Wednesday.

San Diego Chargers football player Darrell Stuckey had a message for kids at his old school:  They too can achieve success in life by working hard in the classroom.

Stuckey hasn't been back to Stoney Point North School in about 15 years. He told FOX 4 News returning brought back a flood of memories of teachers that made a huge difference in his life.

Stuckey was reunited with many of his former teachers. His first grade teacher says she always knew there was something special about Darrell. She says Stuckey had a supportive mother and was driven by ambition to do something with his life. Many say they have been following Stuckey's career with pride since he left KCK to become a standout athlete at the University of Kansas. And they say not everyone would return to the community that shaped them to be of service.

"Mrs. Cop had a very vivid personality. She was very happy all the time, very uplifting," Stuckey recalled. "Mrs. Sample was the same way but she was very stern in her discipline. As a kindergartener you need that discipline when you come to class. She teaches you to have self-control, to know right from wrong."

Stuckey visited each classroom and gave every child a new book to read. He says he struggled with reading as a youngster, until he found a way to make it exciting. That's why many of the books he gave out today are based on Marvel Comics superheroes. Stuckey says if he can help children in his neighborhood discover their passion, what excites them about reading then he knows they too will be on a path to greatness.

Stuckey also talked to kids about standing up to bullying at school. And as part of the NFL's Play 60 initiative, he also tried to influence the children to stay fit and be healthy in their lives.

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