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HOUSTON – The Houston Texans will host a “Heart of a Champion Kick-Off” event to highlight their ongoing partnership with the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the Heart of a Champion® Foundation in providing a top character development program to over 7,000 middle school students in the Houston and Katy Independent School Districts.

The Kick-Off event will take place October 2, at 9:00 AM at Cullen Middle School. The event will include a press conference and a character session featuring Texans receiver Andre Davis along with representatives from the Texans, the McNair Foundation, and Heart of a Champion.

“We are pleased to continue our support of Heart of a Champion to bring additional character building opportunities to the Houston community,” said Robert McNair, Chairman of the Houston Texans. “We consider this local outreach to be our flagship program in character development. The Heart of a Champion material is perhaps the most substantive program in character education and we are proud to serve the Houston community in this manner.”

The critically acclaimed Heart of a Champion program uses real-life stories through an innovative, interactive video and print curriculum to present character lessons. Group and individual exercises encourage students to integrate and apply nine traits to their own lives: Commitment, Leadership, Perseverance, Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, Self-Control, and Compassion. The program is now implemented in 11 states across the U.S. in middle schools, junior high schools, after school outlets and juvenile justice facilities. Program deployment occurs on a weekly basis throughout the entire school year. The comprehensive, research-based program includes pre and post assessments, which have demonstrated significant positive attitudinal and behavioral changes in Houston students taking part in the program.

This is the fourth year that the Texans have partnered with area schools and local underwriters to provide the program to students. Since 2004, the program has impacted over 25,000 students. This year, Heart of a Champion can be found in several Houston area schools, including six HISD Middle Schools.

“The HISD community is appreciative that the Texans have provided this program to students in our district for the fourth straight year,” said Karen Washington, Character Education Director for the district. “The hands-on nature of the program perfectly complements the other student advisory and professional development initiatives we have also implemented to help lead our students to success after graduation.”

While the program has a strong presence in HISD, it is also been deployed in Pasadena and Klein middle schools, as well as with some 2,750 students at two junior high schools in the Katy Independent School District.

“We are excited that junior high students in our district are experiencing the program this year,” said Janet Theis, Katy ISD Partners in Education Specialist. “This initiative of the Texans, combined with other local underwriters, is a formula that makes it possible for our schools to implement the program.”

This year, the Robert and Janice McNair foundation have provided additional funding for three new outlets. Heart of a Champion will be implemented at Grace Presbyterian School, The Briarwood School, and throughout the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.

In the greater Houston area, the Texans are joined by other local individuals, organizations, and corporations in underwriting the Heart of a Champion program. Mariner Energy, a Houston-based oil and gas company, and the TriQuetra Foundation have helped bring the program to these schools.

“Our support of Heart of a Champion reflects our desire to serve the local community,” said Scott Josey, President of Mariner Energy. “The program materials speak for themselves, but the participation of the Texans makes this program special for our local area. We are pleased to support Heart of a Champion and assist the Texans Foundation in this effort.”

“We are extremely grateful to the Texans, Mr. and Mrs. McNair, Mariner Energy and TriQuetra for making it possible for students in Houston to be reached with the program,” said Heart of a Champion founder and Board Chairman, Steve Riach. “The lives of kids are being forever changed because of them.”

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About Heart of a Champion:
Heart of a Champion Foundation is a non-profit group based in Dallas, Texas. The Foundation provides character education materials to youth from upper elementary grades through high school. HOC has three complete volumes of curriculum presently being used in over 100 outlets in 10 states across the country. The Foundation has developed public-private partnerships with such organizations as the Houston Texans, the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs, Express Personnel Services, Mariner Energy and other businesses and sports franchises in various regions to provide underwriting for the program.

Contact: us, Natl. Program Coordinator
Telephone: 817-427-4621