Time to sign up for Super Bowl committee's SLANT 45

Students at Arlington's Pope Elementary got some help with their community service projects Tuesday, as Dallas Cowboys great Daryl Johnston dropped by to kick off SLANT 45, the education component of Super Bowl XLV.

"This is harder than it looks," Johnston said, as he helped a group place broken tiles on a mosaic paw.

Service Learning Adventures in North Texas or SLANT 45 has a goal of involving 20,000 North Texas third- through fifth-graders in service-learning projects before the Super Bowl XLV in 2011. Tuesday's event marked the beginning of online sign-ups.

To celebrate, three teams of Pope students showed off their projects. One group is building the mosaic for the front of the school. Another has adopted a local nursing home and another will gather toiletries for the Arlington Life Shelter.

Johnston was impressed. He said the Pope students' ideas can be replicated for years to come.

"That's our goal is for this program to have a legacy, not only here but in every community the Super Bowl goes to," said Johnston, the chair of SLANT 45.

Big Thought, a Dallas nonprofit, has developed an "official playbook" and "coach's playbook" for planning. Any group from scout troops to elementary school classes to neighborhood children can plan and implement a project with the help of an adult coach.

- Traci Shurley

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