New England Patriots, United Way host Character Playbook Live, a virtual classroom experience

June 14, 2018

New England Patriots players Duron Harmon and Matthew Slater and Patriots cheerleader Alex, along with Granite United Way and the United Way of the Greater Seacoast, held their first Character Playbook LIVE event on Wednesday June 13th, 2018 as part of year two wrap up of Character PlaybookTM, a digital character education program powered by digital learning innovator EVERFI, and presented by the NFL and the United Way. Since its launch in the fall of 2016, the New England market has reached more than 3,000 students in almost 40 New Hampshire schools with Character Playbook.

Character Playbook LIVE launched in the fall of 2017, with over 30 virtual events, as part of a league-wide initiative to engage more students in the important conversation of why character matters. For the New England Character Playbook LIVE event today, Duron, Matthew and Alex virtually joined local schools in their classrooms to connect lessons taught in Character Playbookmodules to life on and off the field.Students had the chance to engage with the Patriots players and cheerleaders live, through an interactive activity and Q&A session.

Wrapping up their second year of participation in the program, the New England Patriots, Granite United Way and United Way of the Greater Seacoast will release year two impact data after the completion of the school year. Data compiled by EVERFI during the program’s first year (2016-2017 school year) indicates that approximately 1,300 teachers helped students complete more than 170,000 hours of learning nationwide, which led to increased understanding of key social-emotional topics—a 41 percent increase based on pre- and post-assessment scores. Specifically in New Hampshire, Character Playbook enabled over 1,800 hours of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) learning and lead to the following outcomes for New Hampshire students:

By the end of the program’s first year:

  • 69 percent of students were more likely to believe they deserve to be treated with respect
  • 71 percent raised their expectations about how to treat others
  • 66 percent said the program helped them identify actions they can take to treat people with respect
  • 73 percent better defined the role they can play in resolving conflict

“Duron and I had an opportunity to visit Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire last year and we learned a lot about Character Playbook and how it is being implemented in schools,” said seven-time Pro Bowler Matthew Slater. “It was great to see how the teachers embraced the program and the students provided very thoughtful responses about building healthy relationships. We are excited to see that this program continues to grow and we are happy to be a part of teaching students the importance of good character and how to resolve conflict effectively.”

“We are pleased with the positive strides Character Playbookhas made on students’ understanding of these critical topics and look forward to expanding its impact,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “Character Playbookis a program for all students, athletes, and non-athletes alike, and addresses values we prioritize as a league. EVERFI and United Way, our nonprofit partner for over 40 years, have been instrumental throughout this process and understand the importance of educating students on these issues in an accessible and interactive way.”

The data around social emotional learning indicates a growing need in classrooms. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning found that students who participated in SEL programs saw an 11percentile point gain in achievement in social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance. Character Playbookis addressing these issues head on and supporting students in building the skills they need to be successful contributors to their communities through improved communication skills, recognizing positive and negative influences, managing their emotions, resolving conflicts and stepping up for one another.

“Good character is a critical building block of strong individuals and strong communities,” said Lauren Wool, Senior Director of Community Impact at United Way of the Greater Seacoast. “By partnering to help young people develop and recognize healthy relationships, Character Playbookis providing our next generation with a foundation for success in school, career and beyond. It’s another great example of how the New England Patriots and United Way are combining the love of team with a deep commitment to community to make a difference.”

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Media Contacts:

Dan McPherson
Community Relations, New England Patriots

Brigid Boyd
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
t: 617.624.8252
c: 339.236.1161