The New York Giants, United Way of New York City and Verizon Celebrate Character Education


Staten Island, NY (June 16, 2017) – Today, the New York Giants, United Way of New York City (UWNYC), Verizon and students and educators from Curtis High School teamed up to celebrate Character PlaybookTM, digital learning initiative focused on youth character development and building healthy relationships. Character PlaybookTM is the latest innovation in the more than 40-year partnership between the NFL and United Way. The New York Giants, UWNYC and Verizon bring this web-based program to schools throughout the New York City area, reaching over 3,000 students across 42 schools this school year alone.

During the celebration, Curtis High School students had the chance to hear from New York Giants offensive lineman Adam Gettis about the importance of character and healthy relationships through a student-led Q&A session. Students also got to show off their skills learned in the program through an interactive activity led by David Weissmann, Public Relations Manager at Verizon. The event concluded with students receiving certificates for their work in the course and Curtis High School receiving the Innovation in Character Education award presented by Michelle Matheson, Vice President, Special Events & Sponsorships at UWNYC.

“Recognizing the character these students are showing, and the educators who are supporting them in their growth is critical for UWNYC,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO, United Way of New York City. “We are so proud to partner with the New York Giants and EverFi to bring this new, innovative, and exciting learning experience into classrooms across our City.”

 “The New York Giants are proud to empower students with the essential skills needed to make sound social and emotional decisions Allison Stangeby, VP of Community Relations said. “It is crucial that our younger generation know how to positively develop their character and build healthy relationships, and this program is taking the first step.”

“A meaningful education includes more than learning to read and write. Equipping students with the skills that will prepare them for success inside and outside of the classroom is critical” said Kevin Zavaglia, North East Market President for Verizon Wireless. “The Character Playbook curriculum offers invaluable resources to kids during their most critical years of development. Verizon is proud to be a partner in empowering them to make informed decisions as they go through life.”

The Character PlaybookTM 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 PlaybookTM 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.

“As an educator and coordinator of the Forward PASS Student-Athlete Development Program, my goal is to prepare my students for successful futures” said Joseph Baratta of Curtis High School. “The Character PlaybookTM program supplies my students with the knowledge and skills to help them cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical high school years and beyond and I am thankful to the New York Giants, United Way of New York City and Verizon for making that possible.”

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About the New York Giants

A cornerstone franchise of the National Football League, the New York Football Giants began play in 1925. With eight championships, including a victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, their second in five seasons, the Giants are the only franchise in the NFL with a Super Bowl victory in each of the last four decades. Headquartered at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., the Giants enter their 93rd season of play this fall.  For more information, visit

About the United Way of New York City

United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has been a trusted partner to government, corporations, and community-based organizations for nearly 80 years. Serving low-income New Yorkers, UWNYC’s collective impact approach enables the diagnosis of neighborhood challenges and the design of solutions to expand education, financial stability, and health opportunities. UWNYC then deploys resources and volunteers while also driving policy change that is guided by measured results. UWNYC envisions caring communities where all individuals and families have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives. Learn more at

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc., headquartered in New York City, has a diverse workforce of 161,000 and generated nearly $126 billion in 2016 revenues. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, with 113.9 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 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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