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Vikings, Greater Twins Cities United Way Launch Character Playbook Program

The Minnesota Vikings, Greater Twin Cities United Way and students from Osseo Middle School on Wednesday teamed up to launch Character Playbook, an education initiative focused on youth character development.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings, Greater Twin Cities United Way and students from Osseo Middle School on Wednesday teamed up to launch Character Playbook™, an education initiative focused on youth character development and building healthy relationships.

Character Playbook™ is the latest innovation in the more than 40-year partnership between the NFL and United Way. The Minnesota Vikings and GTCUW will bring this web-based program to schools throughout Minnesota, reaching over 2,100 students this school year.

During the launch at Osseo Middle School 120 students had the chance to complete the Character Playbook Experience. The Experience was led by Minnesota Vikings Legend, E.J. Henderson and was a combination of a training camp and character education workshop. Stations focused on skills such as communication, overcoming obstacles, positive thinking, and focus.

Team members from the Vikings and United Way led the students through each of the stations. The second phase of the event was a panel discussion led by Lea B. Olson that focused on the details of good character and how to build healthy habits throughout your life. The panel included Henderson, Ben Leber, Leslie Wright of GTCUW and two Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders.

"Greater Twin Cities United Way is excited to join with the Osseo School District and Minnesota Vikings as part of the Character Playbook initiative, which aims to help youth develop important life skills," GTCUW President and CEO Sarah Caruso said. "This unique event reflects our mission of bringing together community resources to challenge and change systems. The youth, although learning and having fun, are part of the change."

"The Vikings have consistently focused on physical fitness and health for youth, but we also strive to represent the state of Minnesota with class and integrity and to encourage those same qualities in our children" said Vikings Executive Vice President Lester Bagley. "Joining Greater Twin Cities United Way to introduce the Character Playbook in this market allows us to use our platform to be advocates for the next generation's development of healthy relationships and strong character."

The Character Playbook™ 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™ modules are designed to help students develop healthy relationships and social norms. The program will be evaluated by measuring student knowledge gains as well as attitude and behavioral change.

About Greater Twin Cities United Way

Ranked as Minnesota's largest nongovernmental social services funder, United Way connects people and resources within our community to challenge and change systems — like Minnesota's education and jobs gap — that limit our potential. Our mission is to unite caring people to build pathways out of poverty, thereby improving individual lives and the community. Learn more at **** and about our 24-hour, Statewide, multilingual information and referral service, United Way 2-1-1 at ****.

Greater Twin Cities United Way serves Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and western Washington counties. For more information call (612) 340-7400.

About EverFi, Inc.

EVERFI is the leading education technology company that provides education for the real world. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model and has certified over 16 million learners in critical skill areas. Some of America's leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 3,300 partner organizations across all 50 states and Canada and annually reaches 6 million learners. Learn more at ****.

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