To launch Character Playbook, the Philadelphia Eagles and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) visited William Dick Public School on October 10, 2016. The halls were buzzing with excitement with students running up to Swoop, the Eagles mascot, asking which Eagles players were about to make an appearance. Later, while students were working on Character Playbook in a classroom, wide receiver Jordan Matthews and safety Rodney McLeod surprised a group of 7th and 8th graders and spent time chatting, and dispensing advice about the topics taught in the course.
Afterwards with hundreds of kids assembled, Jordan, Rodney and Eagles insider Dave Spadaro joined principal Amy Williams and Jim Cawley, the President & CEO of UWGPSNJ, in the school’s auditorium to discuss strong character and healthy relationships. Students asked questions such as, “when you get mad, what do you do to stay calm and not get violent?” and “What struggles did you go through to be successful?” Rodney and Jordan responded with thoughtful answers emphasizing personal experiences that students could relate to. As Rodney explained to the audience at the end of the event, “For anyone who dreams of being the next star, the next LeBron James, it can happen. But focus on the now to chase your dreams.”