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ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — On the afternoon of May 10, students in Kristen Henning’s kindergarten class at Red Pine Elementary School colored pictures as they anxiously waited for their VIP guest to arrive. The students had decorated their classroom in purple and gold, and many were wearing jerseys to welcome their favorite Minnesota Vikings player.

Then the big moment came. The students jumped from their seats and cheered as wide receiver Stefon Diggs walked through the door.

Diggs chose to visit Mrs. Henning’s students because earlier this year they wrote a book for him about a gingerbread man who got loose in U.S. Bank Stadium during a Vikings-Packers game. Using the community writing process, each of the students played an integral role in creating the book by writing and illustrating a page of the story, in which a gingerbread man and Diggs both make a grand appearance. Once the students had completed their story, Mrs. Henning had the pages bound into a book and sent it to Diggs at the Vikings’ offices. Diggs and the organization were so moved by the story that they arranged to have him visit the students in person.

After giving Diggs a warm welcome, the students invited him to sit with them as they read aloud their book, “The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Vikings Stadium.” After finishing the story, the students took photos with Diggs and shared their personal aspirations with him. It was a very exciting and inspiring day for these young authors.

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