DALLAS -- The Dallas Cowboys, United Way of Tarrant County and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas have announced the local launch of Character Playbook™, a new education initiative focused on youth character development and building healthy relationships. The interactive digital program will be implemented directly in schools throughout the North Texas region. This initiative was launched nationally during the 2016 NFL Draft and is powered by education technology leader EverFi, which works with more than 20,000 K-12 schools.
Character Playbook uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. The course is comprised of six interactive, digital modules that cover key concepts of positive character development, social-emotional learning, and building healthy relationships. Designed for seventh – ninth graders, the learning experience enables students to engage with true-to-life scenarios that include bystander intervention strategies and positive relationship examples.
The local launch of Character Playbook is being coordinated in conjunction with the 18th Annual NFL United Way Hometown Huddle – a league-wide day of community service wherein NFL clubs partner with their local United Way agencies to promote youth health and wellness in their communities. As part of this year's Hometown Huddle, the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation will present both Arlington ISD and Frisco ISD with grants of $2,500 each to fund character education programming in their districts.
"The Dallas Cowboys are pleased to partner with the United Way and EverFi on the initiative," said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer. "A student's emotional and mental well-being is just as important as his or her physical health. Character is a learned behavior and if we can teach positive decision-making and prepare students for the many life lessons they will face both in and out of school, we know we can make a difference."
"We are proud to continue to partner with the Dallas Cowboys on achieving the goal to improve health across our region," said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton president and chief executive officer at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. "Encouraging the development of healthy habits at a young age, including support for mental and emotional well-being, is critical to building a strong community."
"We're proud to introduce the NFL & United Way Character Playbook program into Tarrant County schools and organizations," said Tim McKinney, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Tarrant County. "This is another example of how United Way's partnership with the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys helps our students and community."
"We often assume young people will simply find their way to positive character and healthy relationships, but it is a skill that can be taught and nurtured," said EverFi Chief Operating Officer Tammy Wincup. "We're proud to be working with the United Way and the Cowboys to bring Character Playbook to students across North Texas."