By: Chris Brunner
Students at Forest Glen Middle School in Coral Springs received a visit from the Miami Dolphins rookies after their outstanding work with a digital youth character program.
Along with the Dolphins, the United Way of Broward County and teachers from Forest Glen Middle School recognized students active in the Character Playbook program, an education initiative focused on youth character development and building healthy relationships.
“United Way of Broward County is proud to partner with the NFL for the Character Playbook program,” said Kathleen Cannon, President and CEO United Way of Broward County. “This initiative is vital for children in our community to develop applicable life skills as well as provide them with the tools needed to establish healthy relationships during an important time in their life.”
The event featured remarks from students, administration and United Way of Broward County Director of Educational Initiatives Robin Molan. Students also enjoyed a panel led by Miami Dolphins players Johnathan Alston, Cornell Armstrong, Jerome Baker, Kaylen Ballage, Cayson Collins, Jalen Davis, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Mike Gesicki, Lucas Gravelle, Connor Hilland, Buddy Howell, Greg Joseph, Claudy Mathieu, Mike McCray, Anthony Moten, Jamiyus Pittman, Quentin Poling, Quincy Redmon, Jason Sanders, Durham Smythe and David Steinmetz to discuss character development and decision-making.
“Community is important because community helped me get through what I went through when I was younger, when I was these kids’ age – when I was exactly these kids’ age,” said Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick. “Just teaching them about community, about character. They can take something real small from me and just apply it.”
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.
Principal Ronald Forsman said he was proud of the work that Mrs. Meyer and the students put into learning and applying the Character Playbook program.
“This course aided our teachers in developing their Peer Counseling curriculum,” he said. “Character Playbook is instrumental in the Social and Emotional Learning of the students who completed the program, and as a result has impacted their peers as well. On behalf of everyone at Forest Glen, we are grateful for the partnership with the Miami Dolphins and United Way of Broward County. A winning collaboration making a difference in the lives our students.”
Chris has been a contributing writer at Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk since high school. He is a resident of Coral Springs and is currently attending college.