Former National Football League superstar LaDainian Tomlinson came home October 6. The University High grad, who went on to have stellar college and professional football careers, talked to students at University High and Waco High about the importance of academic performance and positive character traits.
Both schools are implementing the SMART program that is funded by the Tomlinson's "Touching Lives" Foundation. SMART, an acronym for Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training, is a cognitive training program developed by the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Brain Health to help students become more efficient, thoughtful, long-term learners. In short, SMART teaches students how to learn rather than merely what to learn. SMART has proven results. In a previous pilot at a Dallas ISD middle school, 70% of students who participated in SMART are now taking 3 or more Advanced Placement courses.
Tomlinson also stressed to the students the importance of school attendance and showing respect for teachers and classmates.
Lisa Saxenian, assistant principal at Waco High, gives former University Trojan Ladainian Tomlinson some Waco High paraphernalia.