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Local Middle Schools Give Character Playbook Update

Photo info:

Brevard Middle School Students show Carolina Panther pride as part of the Character Playbook LIVE event in the fall.

Brevard Academy students interact with Panthers Alum Chris Draft during Character Playbook LIVE in October.

Middle School students at Brevard Middle School and Brevard Academy are participating in Character Playbook curriculum this year. Character PlaybookTM is the NFL and United Way’s signature digital program that trains middle school students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships, make good decisions and step in when they see questionable activity.

So far this year, 61 seventh grade students at Brevard Middle and 35 sixth grade students at Brevard Academy have participated in the program. Those students are part of the more than 88,600 students in 1,003 schools have completed 300,600 modules of Character Playbook this academic year.

“We are really pleased that Character Playbook offers our Brevard Academy middle school students ways to apply good character and healthy relationship skills to their lives. The students really enjoy the modules, which provide a good platform for further classroom discussion,” said Ted Duncan, Brevard Academy Director.

“Character Playbook’s emphasis on developing the whole child fits perfectly with one of our school improvement goals of social and emotional well-being. We are grateful that our seventh grade students had the opportunity to participate in the program with the Carolina Panthers,” stated Jeff Bailey, Brevard Middle School Principal.

Grommesh reports that both schools have been granted participation again for the 2018-2019 school year so another set of students may benefit from the NFL United Way Character Playbook.

“I am extremely proud of United Way of Transylvania County’s role in bringing Character Playbook to our middle school students. The program is a win-win-win for our youth and our entire community, in both the short-term and the long-term,” offered Saunders Grommesh, Resource Development Director for United Way of Transylvania County.

About Character Playbook
Last fall, the National Football League and United Way kicked off Year 2 of Character Playbook—the partnership’s program that helps middle school students cultivate and maintain healthy relationships.

Character Playbook is provided free of charge to schools served by United Ways in all 32 NFL markets.
During the 2016-2017 school year, approximately 1,300 teachers helped students complete more than 150,000 hours of learning, which led to increased understanding of key social-emotional topics—a 41% increase based on pre-and post-assessment scores.

By the end of the program’s first year:

•             74% of students were more likely to believe they deserve to be treated with respect

•             70% raised their expectations about how to treat others

•             69% said the program helped them identify actions they can take to treat people with respect

•             66% better defined the role they can play in resolving conflict

Building off the success of year one, the program will expand to 360 more schools this school year and introduced a new virtual classroom experience this past fall called Character Playbook LIVE. This interactive event, hosted by NFL teams and United Ways, engages even more students in the important conversation of why character matters.


The data around social emotional learning is stronger than ever with a need that is growing every day. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s find that 83% of social-emotional learning (SEL) programs significantly improve academic performance. Character PlaybookTM 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.


About Character Playbook LIVE

Character Playbook LIVE is a remote gathering between NFL teams, their local United Way and their local schools to celebrate and explore the importance of character development and healthy relationships using the power of video conference.

Last fall, 40 NFL players from 27 NFL teams participated in 30 Character Playbook LIVE events with more than 6,500 students who virtually joined them from classrooms and auditoriums in groups ranging from 10 to 200 students. The events garnered 271 media mentions with a potential reach of 20 million people.

To see the “Character Playbook LIVE Sizzle Reel,” go to posted by EVERFI.


About United Way

Campaign contributions support initiatives including community-wide volunteer opportunity listings, the 2-1-1 information and referral service, TRAIN (Transylvania Resource Access and Information Network) non-profit support, Familywize and Coast2Coast prescription discount cards, the Tiny House Initiative for Brevard, and free state and local tax preparation and filing assistance.

United Way of Transylvania County (UWTC) contributions also fund approximately $300,000 annually in grants to local health and human service non-profit programs and collaborative actions. UWTC funds actions providing early childhood education resources, after-school and summer youth programs, adult day care, health services, financial education and counseling, youth conflict resolution training, parenting education and resources, and programs preventing homelessness, abuse and neglect.

UWTC empowers people to improve their lives.  Specific goals are for all residents to achieve their full academic potential, maintain a financially stable household, and live a healthy lifestyle.

To volunteer or financially support the United Way of Transylvania County, call 828-883-8822, visit the office at 101 W. Jordan Street, #4 (below PNC Bank in downtown Brevard), send US Mail to PO Box 53, Brevard, NC, 28712, or visit  or

GREAT things happen when we LIVE UNITED for our community!