The data around social emotional learning indicates a growing need in classrooms. Many of today’s students do not have solid social and emotional foundations to help them build and maintain healthy relationships. 70% of parents believe that children should be taught about healthy relationships before the age of 13 but many do not know how to do so.

Through our local Character Playbook digital education program, the New England Patriots and United Way of the Greater Seacoast are empowering students with critical knowledge and skills by providing character education in local community classrooms. We have partnered with EVERFI, a leading education technology company, to support middle school students  through improved communication skills, recognizing positive and negative influences, managing their emotions, resolving conflicts and stepping up for one another.

And, it’s fun! EVERFI’s web-based course uses video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars and social networking to bring social and emotional concepts to life for today’s digital generation. Course curriculum aligns with both state and national standards.

In its first year, Character Playbook reached over 1,000 students in 17 schools in  New Hampshire.  The program covers key topics such Analyzing Influences, Understanding and Managing Emotions, Communicating Effectively and other critical concepts that map to social emotional learning competencies.

Character Playbook has significantly impacted students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. According to pre- and post-assessment surveys, students’ showed a 53% improvement in understanding what influences their decisions and behavior, and a 34% improvement in  stopping to think about how they are feeling before taking an action.

“Good character is a critical building block of strong individuals and strong communities,” President and CEO of United Way Worldwide Brian Gallagher said of the national partnership.  “By helping young people develop and recognize healthy relationships, Character Playbook is providing our next generation with the tools to succeed. It’s another great example of how the NFL and United Way are combining the love of team with a deep commitment to community to make a difference.”

Nationally, more than 47,500 students at 466 middle schools have participated in Character Playbook.

The NFL and United Way invite fans and supporters to get involved in this ground-breaking effort through a new fundraising initiative designed to expand Character Playbook even further. More details can be found at

We’re incredibly proud to be spurring this kind of change and helping teach the next generation of students these valuable skills!

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