If you're a member of the Seahawks' Junior 12s Kids Club, you're likely already familiar with the book club Michael Bennett mentioned during his Thursday press conference at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, thanks to the club's first e-newsletter that went out earlier this week. But if you're not, you're probably wondering what the Seahawks defensive end was referring to when he said he has a book club available to kids on Seahawks.com.
'Bennett's Book End' will be a reoccurring video feature in the Junior 12s Kids Club's quarterly e-newsletter. The first edition carried two book recommendations from Bennett, including Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, and Hey A.J., It's Saturday, an interactive children's book put together by Michael's brother Martellus Bennett, who plays tight end for the New England Patriots.
"My mom's a teacher, so we grew up always having books in the house, always grew up with projects and always did stuff with the school," Bennett, a father to three young daughters said Thursday. "It's just something we love doing. It's just been a blessing because now my kids love reading and it's fun to enjoy books with them."
On the field, Bennett has been one of the Seahawks' most physical and disruptive defenders, earning his first Pro Bowl nod last season. But Bennett also said he takes pride in people knowing what kind of person he is off the field, where he tries "to do as much normal stuff as possible with my kids, whether it's coaching or teaching at their schools or do whatever I can. I just try to do the best I can."
"I think now people are respecting what people are doing and who they are and how they go about their business," he said. "... Now you can go online and follow them, you can see what they're doing every day in the community, you can see how they treat their kids, and now you're like, 'This guy is just different.' That's how you beat the stereotypes, because people have more access to the athletes than they did before."
And speaking of access to athletes, if you have a book tip for 'Bennett's Book End,' he encourages you to send it to KidsClub@Seahawks.com.
"It's been a really cool thing online," he said. "Kids are really sending in information about books that we're reading or books that we have read. It's going pretty good."
All-Pro and MVP Junior 12s Kids Club members were invited to enjoy a day at the local pumpkin patch with Blitz, the Sea Gals and Seahawks rookie Rees Odhiambo. Kids Club members partook is a variety of fall festivities including pumpkin painting, a haystack ride and more.