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OCOTBER 2019 | VOL. 3, ISSUE 4

INSTANT IMPACT Extra Yard for Teachers Week Makes Bigger Impact than Ever BY DAVID LEE


he fifth-annual Extra Yard for Teachers (EYFT) Week took place Sept. 14-21 as a national celebration of teachers and the education profession. It provided opportunities for universities, conferences, coaches and studentathletes to take part in the mission to inspire and empower teachers with resources and recognition activations. The College Football Playoff (CPF) Foundation worked with universities, conferences, bowls and ESPN to spread awareness and increase participation. In total, EYFT Week engaged 12.6 million people through multiple platforms generating $3.5 million in media value. “Teachers are the most valuable resource in our country and we


thank them for the important role they play in educating the minds of the future generation,” said CFP Foundation Executive Director Britton Banowsky. “The influence and guidance they give our kids is priceless.” ESPN’s College MUCH APPRECIATION: Tennessee was one of 80+ GameDay universities that thanked and honored teachers during broadcasted several EYFT Week. segments honoring local teachers on Sept. 14 and recognition, including student21, respectively, and more than athletes wearing helmet decals and 150 teachers attended the two thanking their former teachers on live GameDay events. More than videoboards. Coaches, student80 universities honored teachers athletes and even fans recognized during the week with in-game teachers who made the biggest


impact on their lives, sharing their stories on social media. The #ExtraYardWeek hashtag was used across all social platforms to help increase exposure.

Yard for Teachers Week. They take student-athletes into classrooms to personally thank teachers. Coaches record personal messages to educators. I think it’s the first year we’re seeing more schools participating I think it’s the first year at a more meaningful, grassroots level.” we’re seeing more schools Colleges and bowl participating at a more partners found unique meaningful, grassroots level.” ways to honor teachers NATALIE JENKINS by customizing the stories and testimonials to “We had more involvement than support the profession in their local ever,” said Natalie Jenkins, who communities. Fans were also highly handles marketing for the CFP involved this year. Some universities Foundation. “The schools have worked with their local K-12 schools really taken ownership of Extra and districts and asked fans to bring

in school supplies to games. Some even gave fans concession vouchers for participating.

Football Legends Honor Their Teachers

Video content was expanded significantly this year with more schools, coaches, broadcasters, student-athletes and fans participating. Videos were created for TV broadcasts, social media, YouTube and conference networks. “It only takes one teacher to make a difference” was the mantra and common thread throughout the “It Only Takes One” video series during EYFT Week. Former college football legends, as well as top

CELEBRATING TEACHERS: EYFT Week was bigger and better than ever in 2019! More than 80 universities honored local K-12 teachers in a myriad of ways, as did student-athletes and fans. THANK YOU, TEACHERS!




national broadcasters, talked about one teacher who made the biggest impact in their lives. Current players and coaches throughout several conferences also participated. It’s the third year for the series, which has attracted millions of views on social media since launching in 2017. “One teacher’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing because a player thanked her on a video board,” Jenkins said. “Teachers typically don’t get this kind of recognition. We are receiving a really positive response from the education community.” New videos for 2019 include Kirk Herbstreit (Ohio State), Raghib “Rocket” Ismail (Notre Dame), Billy Sims (Oklahoma), Maria Taylor (Georgia), LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU), and Keena Turner (Purdue). They joined participants from former years in Troy Aikman (UCLA), Tim Brown (Notre Dame), Tony Dorsett (Pitt), “Mean” Joe Greene (North Texas), Daryl Johnston (Syracuse), Russell Maryland (Miami), Herschel Walker (Georgia) and Darren Woodson (Arizona State). The campaign features gridiron greats who have won four Heisman Trophies, seven national championships and 21 Super Bowl titles. “We’re grateful these former student-athletes are willing to share stories about the one teacher who inspired them,” Banowsky said. “All of us can point to a teacher who made a significant, lasting impact on our lives. By sharing these stories on a national platform, these football legends and broadcasters will help the CFP Foundation celebrate, recognize and elevate teachers, a critical part of our mission.”


“Coach Jordan gave me confidence that I could compete in the classroom… Instead of walking around with my head down, I started walking around with my head up.” – HERSHEL WALKER Georgia Bulldogs and 1982 Heisman Trophy Winner

“The teacher that had the biggest impact on me was Jean Froman. I would just pull up a chair and sit next to her at the front of the class, and we would just talk about life. She gave me a lot of encouragement and took an interest in me. Most kids, that’s what they’re looking for— someone to take an interest in their life. She certainly was able to do that for me.” — TROY AIKMAN UCLA Bruins and College Football Hall of Fame

“Ms. McNulty taught me a very valuable lesson. No question about it, she cared for me. She held me back my first year of school because she felt I wasn’t quite ready. I could have very easily gone down the wrong way.” — TONY DORSETT Pittsburgh Panthers and 1976 Heisman Trophy Winner

“One teacher that inspired me was Mr. Frosini. Mr. Frosini laid down the law, and he was a big influence on the way my academic career went in high school. He always held us accountable for our work in the classroom.” — RAGHIB “ROCKET” ISMAIL Notre Dame Fighting Irish

All of the “It Only Takes One” videos can be seen at the CFP Foundation’s YouTube channel.








How the CFP Foundation is Giving a Lift to Kids


asey Taylor was a homeless, directionless child in Northern California until the leaders of St. Thomas More Catholic School opened their doors to her. Through their love and guidance, she blossomed into a young woman headed to college determined to pay it forward. She not only became a kindergarten teacher, she did so at that Catholic school, working with kids facing the long odds she’d overcome. Alas, in March 2005, the school’s generosity became an unsurmountable liability. Too many scholarships, and not enough paying customers, put it out of business. Casey wasn’t about to tolerate that. Slicing through red tape, she reopened the doors that fall as Achieve Charter School. By last school year, she’d expanded it




from kindergarten through fifth grade into K-9, with plans to grow annually until becoming a full K-12. Then, on November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire destroyed the school and pretty much everything else in Paradise, California. Once again, NICE WHEELS: The CFP Foundation partnered with the Casey wasn’t about Notre Dame Alumni Association to provide new vans to tolerate that. for Achieve Charter School in Butte County, Calif. In August, Achieve opened for this school “The tagline on our Chico year as a K-8 school in Chico, campus is, `Your home away from California, with a full enrollment of home,’” Casey said. “We’re really 236 students, all relocated from proud to serve our community in Paradise. Casey plans to use the site that way.” for two years while its campus and So, how does this connect to the rest of Butte County are being college football? rebuilt. Paradise is about 200 miles north


of Levi’s Stadium, site of the most recent College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship. Because its charity arm — the CFP Foundation — is devoted to supporting education and educators through its Extra Yard for Teachers program, the game became a platform to raise money for schools throughout the fire-ravaged area. Funds were raised and were matched by the CFP Foundation in excess of $200,000, available to support Butte County teachers. An oversized check was presented to the area’s superintendent and about a dozen area teachers before kickoff of the national championship game between Clemson and Alabama. Still, CFP Foundation Executive Director Britton Banowsky wanted to do more — something specific for someone special. Then he met Casey and heard her story. Game week was roughly two months after the fire and one month after Casey’s school had reopened in a small church in Chico. Banowsky asked what she needed most. Vans, she said. Not only to get students to/from school, but also for field trips and sporting events. “Parents are very involved in the school, but giving rides doesn’t fit into their new chaotic way of life,” Casey said. “Anything that takes one thing off the parents’ to-do list is something that alleviates pressure at home.” Banowsky figured the CFP Foundation could afford to buy one 10-passenger van and give them a head start toward a second. He found the money for three. The Notre Dame Alumni Association wrote a check to cover insurance, registration and gas for this school year.

The first van arrived in time for the school year. The other two are expected to be delivered in mid-October. While also holding 10 passengers, they’re taller and longer, offering more headroom and cargo space. The donation was a secret while in the works. The big reveal came during a grand opening/ice cream social for families for supporters — a group of benefactors that, Casey noted, swelled once folks learned of the CFP Foundation’s involvement. Everyone gawked at the white van parked in the middle of the playground. It was skinned with the logos of the school and Extra Yard for Teachers, with a big blue ribbon on top and a Notre Dame flag flapping out the front window on the passenger’s side. Then came the ceremony. Banowsky handed Casey the keys, drawing a loud ovation. She then told everyone, “Two more are coming that are bigger and better!” drawing another joyous cheer. “Oh my gosh, it’s just so amazing,” she said. “It’s such a relief to pack an entire volleyball team in one van and not worry about needing parent drivers. Everyone is so excited.” Also taking part in the ceremony was Jesse Lovejoy, director of the San Francisco 49ers EDU program, a leader in supporting K-8 students and teachers in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). “We truly value our partnership with Extra Yard for Teachers and how it aligns with 49ers EDU’s goals to inspire, support and celebrate teachers and students,” Lovejoy said. “For all these reasons - and as a way



ce is the newest member of the college football mascot family. He made his debut on Sept. 14, the first day of EYFT Week, and you might have seen him on ESPN’s College GameDay! Ace joins the EYFT Team in supporting and celebrating teachers.

to continue to show our support for the community of Paradise nearly a year after the terrible tragedy that the Camp Fire brought to so many wonderful people - it was a true joy to be there to help Achieve receive the transportation they need to serve the kids that will attend the new campus.” Casey laughed as she admitted to not being much of a college football fan. However, she’s now a huge fan of the College Football Playoff Foundation. “Please pass on my extreme lifetime gratitude to everyone at the CFP Foundation,” she said. “Our school’s story is extraordinary and our rebound is just as extraordinary. It makes you feel really good about the strength and generosity of humanity to lift people back up.”



CFP Foundation and New Orleans Host Committee Host Teacher Appreciation Event


he CFP Foundation and the New Orleans College Football Championship Host Committee (NOCFCHC) hosted an Extra Yard for Teachers Teacher Appreciation Party for teachers and staff at Rock ‘N’ Bowl in New Orleans on Sept. 27. More than 500 New Orleans area teachers were in attendance for an evening of free food, drinks and live music. In conjunction with the CFP National Championship in New Orleans (January 13, 2020), a primary focus of the efforts to support teachers in the Crescent City is recruitment and retention in New Orleans public schools, since there has been a lack of stability in the teacher workforce. A key part of this effort is recognizing teachers with celebration events that are planned to engage with all 2,700 in the system, including the Rock ‘N’ Bowl event, complimentary tickets to Tulane’s

BOWL: Teachers got their time in on the lanes as part of a fun evening.



ROCK: More than 500 New Orleans area teachers enjoyed a free night of fun that included live music, food and drink. October 12 football game, plus a series of lunches across the community. The highlight of the Rock ‘N’ Bowl event was the presentation of a School Specialty Media Room Makeover powered by the Sun Belt. Each educator in attendance was entered into a drawing to win the makeover and Christopher Hatten from KIPP Central City was selected. The Media Room Makeover is valued at $50,000. In addition, representatives from Entergy, a major host committee local partner, were on hand to assist with the operation of the event. Entergy also provided a

bonus raffle prize as David Ellis, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, presented an autographed Drew Brees jersey to Kylle Arnold Kolk from Eleanor McMain High School. Guests were welcomed by Dr. Henderson Lewis, the superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools, while Britton Banowsky, the executive director of the CFP Foundation, gave an overview of the Foundation’s efforts in New Orleans and around the country. Judge Monique Morial, the president of the Allstate Sugar Bowl (the driving force of the New Orleans Host Committee),


gave direct thanks to the teachers in attendance, and Keith Gill, commissioner of the New Orleans-based Sun Belt Conference, drew the winning name for the Media Room Makeover. OCTOBER 2019 HONOREE

Our city’s teachers are leading our students to achieve great things and deserve our deepest appreciation every day.” DR. HENDERSON LEWIS, JR.

“Our city’s teachers are leading our students to achieve great things and deserve our deepest appreciation every day,” said Lewis. “The teacher appreciation events sponsored by the College Football Playoff Foundation are a thoughtful way to thank our educators for their hard-work and dedication that mold our students’ lives in a positive direction. As a former teacher myself, I want to encourage the entire community to thank and celebrate our educators day in and day out.” The overall teacher-focused efforts of the NOCFCHC will continue well after the 2020 CFP National Championship. As with past cities that have hosted the national championship game, the plan is a long-range effort to make a strong, sustainable impact on the local area’s education.


Ismael Jimenez

n his African-American History class at Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School in North Philadelphia, Ismael Jimenez plays many different roles, from teacher to student to spectator to referee. The result in his classroom is a magical alchemy where students use topics from history and current events to learn about themselves and their place in their community and the wider world. As junior Donavan Bennefield describes, “We’re learning with him and he’s learning with us ­— that doesn’t happen in other classrooms.” Jimenez encourages his students to challenge his teaching We’re learning with him and learn to create their and he’s learning with us own sense of identity, ­— that doesn’t happen in destiny and values; other classrooms.” to heed history and DONAVAN BENNEFIELD the legacy of cultural progress; to synthesize what they learn from their families and what they see in the media and on the streets. As Donovan describes, “He’s trying to influence us to think about how to be an individual, and how to have our own mindsets.”  Visit to read Ismael Jimenez’s full story.











Profile for College Football Playoff Foundation

The Extra Yard, Vol. 3, Issue 4  

The Extra Yard, Vol. 3, Issue 4