Vikings' Patterson accepts 1st-grader's invitation to attend class

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Thanks to a writing project – and a little help from social media – a first-grade class at Rice Lake Elementary had a special visitor Tuesday.

One day last month, Nevaeh Torma finished her work early, so her teacher, Drew Gernand, had her write a letter to a famous person she admires, the school said on its website.

The girl chose to write to Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, and she invited him to visit her class. She also complimented his cleats and his ability to catch a football. She earnestly asked the wide receiver, who became a Vikings star in his first season last year, "Do you still play football?"

Gernand sent Patterson a tweet with a picture of Nevaeh and her letter on April 11.

Patterson accepted Nevaeh's offer and on Tuesday he showed up at the school. He ate lunch with Nevaeh, answered questions for her class, signed autographs, took photos and even threw the football around with some of the kids.

The school says its staff knows it's important to inspire and prepare all of its students to achieve their dreams – and Patterson agrees.

“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, according to the school. “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.”

Nevaeh made sure to write Patterson a thank you note, also.

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