United Way of Central Maryland, the Baltimore Ravens and Verizon Launch Character Education Initiative

Character Education Program Focuses on Helping Students Develop and Maintain Healthy Relationships

Baltimore, MD (October 10, 2016) – The Baltimore Ravens, United Way of Central Maryland and Verizon have teamed together to launch Character PlaybookTM, a digital learning initiative focused on youth character development and building healthy relationships. It will be implemented directly in schools throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. This initiative was launched nationally during the 2016 NFL Draft and is powered by education technology leader EverFi, which works with more than 20,000 K-12 schools.

Character Playbook uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. The digital course is comprised of six interactive, digital modules that cover key concepts around positive character development, social-emotional learning and building healthy relationships. Designed for students in grades seven through nine, the digital learning experience enables students to engage in true-to-life scenarios that include bystander intervention strategies and positive relationship examples.

“The Baltimore Ravens are excited to be partnering with the United Way of Central Maryland and Verizon to launch the Character Playbook program in Baltimore-area schools,” said Heather Darney, Director of Communications at the Baltimore Ravens. “This program reinforces our organization’s commitment to supporting local youth by providing them with a program that promotes positive character development and emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships.”

“United Way is focused on helping children be successful in school so they can go on to graduate high school,” said Natalie Dixon, education program officer at United Way of Central Maryland. “This partnership with the Baltimore Ravens and Verizon strengthens the work we’re already doing and demonstrates that when we all come together, we can be a powerful force for change.”

“As a leader in the community, Verizon believes that we must use our resources and expertise to create innovative solutions that help the vulnerable in our society,” said Roger Tang, Verizon Market President-Southeast. “Our support of the Character Playbook in the Baltimore area is in line with our mission to make an impact and address topics that are critical to middle school students’ success across the region.”

The launch event will take place at Maree Garnett Farring Elementary/Middle School on Monday, October 10 and will include current Baltimore Ravens players Morgan CoxSam Koch, Alex Lewis and Lardarius Webb. More than 250 students, district and city officials will attend the event.

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About The Baltimore Ravens
Through a variety of initiatives, the Baltimore Ravens and the Ravens Foundation make it a priority to give back to their community. The Ravens Foundation is committed to improving, encouraging and enabling the healthy development of youth in the Baltimore area, as well as other parts of the state of Maryland. The foundation focuses on programs that help youth, and in some cases their families, with various needs, including housing, hunger, education, athletics and mentoring.

About The United Way of Central Maryland
For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been empowering families to become self-sufficient by focusing on the building blocks of a better life: education, employment, housing and health. Family Stability is at the heart of this work, which includes helping children be successful in school so they graduate with a bright future; ensuring individuals, children and families have a safe, affordable place to call home; helping people find stable employment that brings in enough income to cover the basics and ensuring our neighbors in need have access to healthy, nutritious food and healthcare. All of this work is supported by the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline, a 24-hour, 7-day a week service that provides information and referrals on a variety of health and human service issues to individuals. Program volunteers answered more than 100,000 calls for help in the last fiscal year. United Way is improving lives in central Maryland communities, but no one can create change alone. That’s why United Way of Central Maryland is encouraging individuals to get their friends, colleagues and others involved, to do more in the community and help more families in central Maryland. Together, United Way of Central Maryland, its supporters and its volunteers can empower more families in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties and Baltimore City. To learn more about the United Way of Central Maryland, visit www.uwcm.org

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, has a diverse workforce of nearly 162,700 and generated nearly $132 billion in 2015 revenues. Verizon operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 113.2 million retail connections nationwide. The company also provides communications and entertainment services over mobile broadband and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.

About EverFi, Inc.
EverFi, Inc. is the education technology innovator that empowers K-12, higher education, and adult learners with the skills needed to be successful in life. Its comprehensive critical skills platform is focused on Financial Education, Digital Citizenship, STEM Career Readiness, Diversity and Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Character Education, and Health and Wellness. The EverFi Education Network is powered by more than 3,300 partner organizations across all 50 states and Canada and annually reaches 6 million learners. Learn more at everfi.com

Media Contact:
Brian Cooley
EverFi
202-625-0011 x352