Valley of the Sun United Way with the Arizona Cardinals, Verizon, and EverFi, kicked off Character Playbook this week. Character Playbook is a program designed to educate 7th-9th grade students on important social skills and character development through a 2-3 hour course broken into six modules.
We want children and youth in our community to succeed. Character Playbook is just one of the programs dedicated to making that happen. United Way’s Ivan Williams described the program as, “A healthy relationship curriculum, and it’s one element to explore different situations in a safe environment as well as testing out skills you can use in school, and your future career.”
In a large high school gym, packed with more than 850 Greenfield Junior High School students, cheerleaders helped Big Red bring the pep to the bleachers, building up excitement all around. Then, in came current Cardinals players, Hakeem Valles and Drew Stanton, as well as Cardinals Alumni, Frank Sanders and Michael Bankston, and other representatives with the Arizona Cardinals, Verizon, United Way, and EverFi to discuss the program and how these players use elements in Character Playbook during their daily lives inside and outside of football.
Frank Sanders shared the importance of character for everyone you interact with, “Character is EVERYTHING. Go to school, get a good education, love your brothers and sisters, be there for them, be the best person you can be in this world. Not only that, return the favor and tell that child to be good and how important a good education is for the next generation.”
But these skills aren’t just for others or for future generations as Nicole Bidwell with the Arizona Cardinals explained, “Character Playbook will help educate students all across Arizona, so you can have the skills and confidence to face in those tough high school years and beyond.”
Jeanine with Verizon told Greenfield Junior High School, “You are the future for us, and the leaders of tomorrow and we need you to be at your very best so our world can be at its very best,” and this program will be changing how students learn about relationships and their own development all over the country. Schools in all 32 NFL markets will now be learning how to grow into their best-self with Character Playbook. The evidence-based strategies will show students what healthy relationships look like and create a positive environment for them to grow into their own character development, improving academic performance and communication with others.
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