Auburn Gresham Elementary Schools Have a Lot of Character!

Barton and Joplin Elementary students are learning how to cultivate character and build healthy relationships through the Chicago Bears Character Playbook program.

Photo Courtesy of @BearsOutreach

 The Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation partners with private/public partners to bring innovative education programming and social supports to five neighborhood schools in Auburn Gresham. This is program is called Auburn Gresham GOLD, a community driven education program.

United Way Chicago and the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation believe building good character is critical to sustaining strong vibrant communities. The Bears event was an opportunity for our students to talk with the NFL players about complex issues that affect them every day. The interesting point about this opportunity is the students were open to talking about race and equity openly without fear of who would judge the perceptions of their reality.

Middle school students from Clara Barton Elementary School and Scott Joplin Elementary School talked about which character qualities made them a special person and how were they planning to utilize their character qualities to set and achieve BOLD goals in their own life. The Character playbook digital program is one example of the education programming the GADC brings to neighborhood 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 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 learners in grades 7-9, the digital learning experience enables students to engage with true-to-life scenarios that include bystander intervention strategies and positive relationship examples.

 Quote from Assistant Principal Patricia Miller who served as the moderator for the discussion with Chicago Bears players.

 “This was an experience our students will never forget. Students were able to have real talk about their aspirations and dreams. The players discussed their road to the NFL which helped students understand we all have challenges and obstacles but those are what shape us and make us all unique. The Bears players spoke life into our students. I am eternally grateful to the Chicago Bears organization, United Way, GADC, and Everfi."