By Kevin Armstrong
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
The 21 boys and girls in the first-floor cafeteria at the John F. Kennedy School, a learning center in Newark for 140 special needs students ranging from 12 to 21 years old, were waiting for a surprise to arrive Wednesday morning. Their teacher, Ms. Petrine Hughes refused to let them know who or what would soon be coming.
"I want to keep my job," she said, smiling at the students.
Ten minutes later, Jets right tackle Damien Woody, the children's version of Superman, and his wife, Nicole, made their way through the hall. With them came a large orange box full of school supplies from OfficeMax, including a printer and digital camera. It was part of the store's "A Day Made Better" campaign to support teachers who spend $1,000 of their own money on notebooks and supplies for students each year.
"They smile no matter what their handicap is," said Hughes, a product of the Newark public school system who has worked at Kennedy for 37 years. "That alone gets you going each morning."
Woody was enjoying his bye week following the Mile High Miracle victory over the Broncos. He planned on a possible trip to the Bahamas to celebrate the Jets' 5-1 start but decided to stay in town.
"We're ready to get back into it," said Woody, who is busy helping his wife with their four daughters and two sons. "Guys are going strong right now."
The donation was a welcome one for the Kennedy school. The city's long-struggling schools have gained attention of late: Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million to the Newark system, and the new film "Waiting for Superman" has spotlighted the obstacles in the country's failing schools, both economically and sociologically, that teachers and students face.
"Damien should have worn his cape today," Nicole Woody said.
Good of Woody, nice to see some positive press for jets playters but of course most people will ignore it and focus on the stupid stuff