NavaehlunchwebIf you could pick any celebrity to have lunch with, who would it be?

Many of us have been asked this question but never expect it to happen. Thanks to a writing project and a little help from social media, this very dream came true for Rice Lake Elementary first grader, Nevaeh Torma.

Last month, teacher Drew Gernand's students were practicing writing, editing, revising and computer keyboarding skills. Since Nevaeh completed her work before the rest of the class, Gernand told her to write a letter to someone famous that she admires and he would send it.

Nevaeh chose to write to Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. She complimented him on his cleats and his ability to score touchdowns and invited him to come visit her and her classmates at school.

Gernand tweeted a photo of Nevaeh and her letter. Patterson saw the tweet and accepted Nevaeh’s offer. Several weeks later, Patterson joined Nevaeh for lunch at Rice Lake Elementary. He spent time in Gernand’s classroom answering questions, signing autographs and taking photos. He even went outside in the drizzling rain to throw around the football.

Rice Lake Elementary staff knows it’s important to inspire and prepare all students to achieve their dreams. So does Patterson.

 “Just working hard and having fun with what I do helped me achieve my goals and dreams. I always smile and try to make the most of every day,” Patterson said. “If I can help these students smile and enjoy their day, we all win and we all get better. It’s a blessing to be able to make these kids light up and enjoy their time.”

More photos

-Published May 27, 2014