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Broncos' Bruton, Ward doing great things off-field to help kids read, write better

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Although the season is underway, two Broncos safeties aren't letting their charity work slack off while they help bring better reading and writing skills to kids.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Even as the regular season heats up, a couple of Broncos safeties have been busy supporting their charities and doing good around Denver and beyond.

Bruton raffling a bike for books

David Bruton Jr. and Bruton's Books, his Denver- based charitable fund, are sponsoring "Bike Raffle for Books" in which the raffle winner will receive a Denver Broncos-licensed Trek Emonda SLR bicycle, autographed by several Broncos including Bruton Jr., Peyton Manning, Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas.

Bruton and his charity have teamed up with Mile High United Way, the Denver Broncos, Elevation Cycles and Trek Bicycles to offer these one-of-a-kind wheels.

The bike will be custom built to the winner's specifications including frame size, handlebar width, stem length, saddle preference, and crank length.

Bruton, a former teacher, took up cycling in the offseason to add to his endurance training, so with this raffle he's passing along not just his love of reading but also his love for pedaling on the open roads.

The winner gets a Denver Broncos-themed Trek Emonda SLR, autographed by David Bruton Jr., Peyton Manning, Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas.

"We know children should be reading at grade level by the end of third grade because after that, they need these skills to learn other subjects like science and math," said Bruton Jr, who donated $26,000 to the program. "That is why the proceeds will go right back to the programs that give kids the opportunity to build their reading skills and put them on the path to success."

The raffle - which is entirely online - is going on now through midnight Nov. 29. You can buy tickets at $25 a piece or five tickets for $100 via Mile High United Way or Bruton's Books.

The winner will be announced Nov. 30.

T.J. Ward expanding sports journalism to NYC

T.J. Ward and his foundation joined with Purpose2Play last spring for P2P's On Deck sports journalism program that the two piloted last spring.

The T.J. Ward Foundation helped implement a sports journalism training program for high school students interested in learning the ropes of being a reporter. Working with Kim Constantinesco, founder of Purpose 2 Play and former editor of Predominantly Orange, kids from the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club learned how to interview, report, write and a sports story.

Ward and Aqib Talib were among their major interviewees, which resulted in some great features about these two Pro Bowlers.

Thanks to the success of that program and the overall awesomeness of Constantinesco's idea, ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap is now partnering with the two organizations to bring On Deck to disadvantaged youth in New York City.

Students will receive instruction from media professionals at ESPN, MLB.com and Purpose2Play. They will also have the opportunity to conduct face-to-face interviews with professional athletes from the NFL, NBA and more. The stories that students compose will be published on Purpose2Play.com.

"I'm looking forward to spending time with the students in the program," said Schaap. "I hope that we can create a foundation of success for them in the field of journalism. The field needs talented newcomers as much as they might need journalism."

Ward is also excited to see this program that started in Denver be carried to a city where thousands of disadvantaged youth are looking for a way to plug in to society and learn some useful skills.

"Kim did a great job with the kids, and I hope I can continue to inspire more kids to use their abilities to create blessings for themselves," Ward said. "I value all my blessings. I saw a lot of that same appreciation in the eyes of the kids from Boys & Girls Club."