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NFL & United Way Blog

Chicago Bears - United Way of Metropolitan Chicago 2017 Character Playbook Live

Linebacker Sam Acho hosts Character Playbook LIVE

Source: The Official Website of The Chicago Bears

Linebacker Sam Acho and the United Way of Metro Chicago hosted a new virtual classroom experience called Character Playbook LIVE on Tuesday, September 19 as part of the year two expansion of Character Playbook ™, a digital character education program powered by digital learning innovator Everfi Inc. and presented by the NFL and United Way.

Character Playbook LIVE is part of a league-wide initiative to engage more students in the important conversation of why character matters. All 32 NFL teams will host an event beginning in Week 2 of the regular season. For the Bears Character Playbook LIVE event, Sam Acho virtually joined Chicago Public School students in their classrooms and connect lessons taught in Character Playbook modules to life inside and outside of football. Students had the chance to engage with Sam in a personal manner through an interactive activity and Q&A session.

“We are pleased with the positive strides Character Playbook has made on students’ understanding of these critical topics and look forward to expanding its impact,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Character Playbook is 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 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs saw an 11 percentile point gain in achievement in social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior and academic performance. Character Playbook is 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 President and CEO of United Way Worldwide Brian Gallagher. “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.”

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