The Philadelphia Eagles' pep band has been around for 15 years. But according to its leader, Bobby Mansure, its experience at Anna B. Day School Friday morning was one of its most enjoyable.
"This is the best school we've ever been to," Mansure said during a rally for the Eagles at the school.
The crowd of children and staff went nuts when they heard that, just as they had throughout the entire rally, which lasted over an hour and featured appearances by Eagles' cheerleaders, the team's mascot, Swoop, and drummers and the pep band.
According to School District of Philadelphia representative Evelyn Sample-Oates, who was at the rally, the Eagles often partner with district schools to put on such rallies come playoff time. It's a way to get people excited about the upcoming playoff game—the Eagles will face the Green Bay Packers at 4:15 p.m. Sunday in a first-round postseason matchup—and to reward a school that, in this case, has been performing well.
The Eagles also donated books to the school—the team provided enough for every student to receive one. Sarah Martinez-Helfman, who is the executive director of the Eagles Youth Partnership, encouraged the students to read their books, leading them in a chant of "R-E-A-D" during the event, after others had taken part in a traditional "E-A-G-L-E-S" cheer.
Day is a Vanguard school, Sample-Oates said, which means its students perform at a high academic level.
"This school has a great principal, great staff," she said, referring to principal Karen Dean. "The kids do well."
Dean said a few of the students' parents and grandparents had come to the event, which didn't suffer from a lack of cheering.
Students sang the team's fight song throughout, and the auditorium was filled with excited screams for the duration of the rally. Television cameras for Fox 29 captured the excitement live.
"It was a family affair," Dean said.
The school district hopes this isn't the last event like this the team will put on this year.
"Once they win this week, we'll pick another school next week," Sample-Oates said.
Click here to see a video from the event.