The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Everfi and United Way of the National Capital Area, kicked off their Character Playbook Challenge Tuesday with more than 400 sixth-grade students at Trailside Middle School in Ashburn, Virginia. Character Playbook is a digital character building education program that uses engaging learning activities to educate students about creating and maintaining healthy relationships during their middle school years.
"Relationships are the center of what we do," Trailside sixth-grade dean Gonzalo Gallardo said. "It's the basis for all the learning and all the human interaction that takes place here."
The event was kicked off by a Q&A session with current three current Redskins players: offensive linemen Ross Pierschbacher and Tony Bergstrom and wide receiver Cam Sims. Pierschbacher understands the importance of educating young children about healthy relationships, and he aimed to help build on the foundation started by teachers and other positive role models.
"I just think that they're the future," Pierschbacher said. "Just looking at them, they're already well on their way. The teachers and the community have done a really great job with them. If they take just one thing from what we said, that's a win for us and a win for the whole community going forward."
The Redskins players also joined students for a "Managing Emotions" workshop to learn how to cope with stressful situations. Dorian Johnson, an EverFi customer success and marketing manager, stressed the importance of presenting to this age group.
"This is the core years," Johnson said. "We really want to get them as they're going through the different life lessons and moving into high school dealing with more pressures and different peer pressures. Just want to prepare them for life."
Schools interested in joining the Character Playbook Challenge can learn more at characterplaybook.com