On Thursday some 100 students from Kipp Central City Primary, an elementary school in New Orleans, were on the Carnival Triumph for a day of fun, including the first-ever “Read & Rise” literacy day to celebrate their reading achievements as winners of the school’s summer reading challenge.

The event was created in collaboration with Carnival Cruise Line, New Orleans Saints and Scholastic Book Fairs and was hosted by former Saints player Deuce McAllister who taught the students gridiron fundamentals while encouraging them to read and stay active, said Carnival in a prepared statement.

All students from Kipp Central City Primary grades 2-4 each received $10 vouchers funded by Carnival to purchase books of their choice at the Scholastic Book Fair and participated in games and other activities held at their school reading rally.

Students enjoyed lunch onboard the ship and received backpacks filled with logo items from Carnival and the Saints as well as an ocean-themed book provided by Scholastic Book Fairs.

“I’m honored to work with Carnival and Scholastic on behalf of the Saints to encourage local students to keep reading and stay active,” said Saints legend Deuce McAllister. “These kids are so inspiring. We’ve all had a great day filled with fun and football and I think this was a great event to kick off the season.”