During this year’s NFL season, players from United Way TEAM NFL and local United Ways from all around the United States have done some amazing things and have lived their mission. That mission is to cut the number of high school dropouts in the United States by 50%.
In August, this mission received attention with a featured article in the New York Times, touting and shedding light on the partnership between the NFL and United Way.
As the season got underway, United Way and TEAM NFL joined with the NFL’s ‘Back to Football’ and ‘NFL Play 60’ effort to encourage kids to exercise at least 60 minutes per day. A new study finds that having a daily Physical education class along with some other community policy changes could increase kids’ physical activity by 23 minutes. This could dramatically help kids get to the federally suggested 60 minutes per day. These policy changes are difficult to administer due to some loopholes, found by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education. What’s needed, they say, is for parents to speak out locally and nationally on the need for more P.E. in schools.
Throughout the year, one of the most meaningful contributions of United Way TEAM NFL is their local involvement. Players traveled into their communities, speaking and inspiring young people to stay in school and achieve great things. One such example occurred in November with Team NFL players Glover Quin and George Wilson. Each of them spoke at local schools in Buffalo and Houston and encouraged students to put education and learning at the top of their priority list.
Often time’s campaigns are defined by numbers. The number from the 2012 season that is most striking and inspiring is 12,700 – the total number of individuals who pledged to volunteer with United Way TEAM NFL. These volunteer readers, tutors, and mentors will be the driving force behind United Way’s goal to increase the graduation rate. With their help, hope can be brought to thousands of kids as they receive the gift of learning.
You too can become a part of this effort. Volunteer at www.unitedway.org/teamnfl and help local kids in your community.