The students, kindergarten through third grade, were excited to meet their teachers, catch up with friends and start lesson plans.
They were even more excited to see Josh Cribbs and Chomps, the Cleveland Browns mascot.
Cribbs handed out about 150 backpacks to the students before they walked down a red carpet and into the school.
He said the first day of school is a special time to connect with families.
“To inspire them, let them know that people care about them,” Cribbs said. “People care about their success.”
Cribbs’ foundation has adopted Stepstone Academy and is promising a long-term commitment to making sure students’ needs are met.
“Whatever they need,” Cribbs said. “School supplies, bookbags, food. Anything the school needs, that this community needs, we will try to service."
In addition to the backpacks, the foundation donated supplies to the school.
Principal Kelly Krupa said it’s important for schools to be welcoming and listen to students and parents.
“Coming and feeling welcome and giving them a whole community view is what’s really important for us,” Krupa said.
Parents were grateful for Cribbs’ surprise visit.
“I’m truly excited to see the interaction with the children,” said Lueresser Curry, who’s daughter is entering kindergarten.
Cribbs said, “The kids are smiling. They’re excited for their first day of school.”
Be sure to watch Josh and Maria Cribbs on WOIO-TV this fall when 'Cribbs in the CLE: Josh and Maria Live’ launches.