The Extra Yard – Vol. 1, Issue 2

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OCTOBER 3, 2017 | VOL. 1, ISSUE 2

SUPPORTING TEACHERS ONE YARD AT A TIME Extra Yard for Teachers Week provided unforgettable memories — and funding for new initiatives — that will fuel teachers and classrooms for years to come BY JIMMY BURCH


or two-consecutive September Saturdays, as well as the days in-between, college football telecasts resonated a little louder than normal with Ryan Allen Hall. Whether on pregame shows or during the announcers’ calls during games, the Director of Community Relations for the College Football Playoff (CFP) kept hearing references to a topic near and dear to his heart: the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers Week. Throughout the country, at venues ranging from Times Square


to the Los Angeles Coliseum, entities within the college football community honored teachers in conjunction with games played between Sept. 16-23. They shined the spotlight on an initiative that has contributed $12 million to education while making an impact on 3,033,144 students and 97,407 teachers in 12,902 schools since it was launched in 2014. “I think Extra Yard for Teachers Week has evolved into a truly remarkable campaign over the last three years,” Hall said. “We’ve

received great buy-in from our institutions, conferences, bowls and media partners. This is why you might have noticed the exponential growth in the last year, especially with football studentathletes wearing the green apple helmet decal. We’ve taken major strides to increase the financial and emotional impact of this initiative, and we are grateful for the support from the coaches and student-athletes.” Having teachers recognized during ESPN College GameDay

telecasts from Louisville (Sept. 16) and Times Square (Sept. 23) helped. The spotlight on former Louisville student-athletes now in the teaching profession accompanied an announcement that the CFP Foundation, in partnership with ESPN, would provide $30,000 in support of classroom projects at Louisville-area schools (grades K-12), benefitting more than 3,000 students and 25 teachers in the process. In New York City, the CFP Foundation and ESPN announced another $30,000 initiative in support of high-need classrooms in the region. Fans also got involved with funding projects. At the end of the eight-day campaign, the site referenced 229 fully-funded classroom projects benefitting 13,395 students through the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, accompanied by thank-you notes from grateful instructors. Feel-good angles dominated the storylines during telecasts on ESPN and other networks. A Sept. 22 celebration of teachers topped 1,200 participants at Boise State. Officials at the University of

COAST TO COAST: On campuses across the nation, teachers were celebrated as part of EYFT Week activities. California presented an $11,000 check to Acorn Woodland Elementary School in Oakland during the Golden Bears’ game against Ole Miss. The funds will go towards helping the elementary school recover after it was vandalized in July, with computers destroyed and classrooms spray-

painted with graffiti as part of damages in excess of $20,000. Grants raised will enhance efforts to help teachers in communities connected to the 10 FBS conferences and their member schools, from sensory swings for special needs elementary students to the purchase of audiobooks for



$3,553,768 STADIUMS








NEXT GENERATION: Extra Yard for Teachers is making a lasting impact on educators, as well as students, who will serve as future leaders. Sandtown Middle School in Atlanta. Extra Yard for Teachers Week included a myriad of supportive messages in stadiums and on social media from schools, athletes, fans, bowls and conferences. A prime example: a 30-second video posted by the Big 12 that featured testimonials from nine different

student-athletes to underscore the support for the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative espoused by Big 12 Commissioner, Bob Bowlsby. “It’s actually one of the things that I enjoy most about being involved in the College Football Playoff,” Bowlsby said. “We are putting enough resources against

it that it’s making a difference. We are trying to encourage more people into the teaching profession. Government estimates are that we are going to need another 200,000 teachers by 2022. Right now, colleges are not training enough teachers. That’s a challenge for our entire country. If

FINANCIAL IMPACT Check out the financial impact during EYFT Week, including projects.









we can’t have quality instructors in the classroom, it’s going to affect the quality of education.” Impact for the initiative will extend beyond its eight-day

a weekly basis throughout the regular season via SEC Network programming, with a $10,000 grant provided for each teacher highlighted in the testimonials. Bowlsby envisions 201718 as a year to elevate the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative to unprecedented levels. “We hope we’re getting better at it with each passing year,” Bowlsby said. “We’d like it to be a much bigger initiative with a much larger impact as we go forward.”

If we can’t have quality instructors in the classroom, it’s going to affect the quality of education.” BOB BOWLSBY focal point. The Southeastern Conference, for example, will feature a story based on a football student-athlete and his teacher from each of its 14 schools on

FOCAL POINT: Putting educators in the spotlight extends long after EYFT Week ends.

Tell us about the moment you realized teaching was the right profession for you.


I was a new teacher teaching in NYC and was given an oversized class for the second semester. I went to my administrator to ask why there was a change in my schedule. He told me that during the first semester, some classes went through several teachers so they had to combine the classes for the second semester due to a lack of teachers. I asked why he gave them to me. He replied, “I have seen you teach, you’ve got it, you’re a natural. You have that thing that can’t be taught. You will not leave these students and they will learn from you. I am confident in that.” After about two (frustrating) weeks with the class, one of my most challenging students came to me at the end of the class and said, “Finally, they gave us a good teacher! You alright, Wash! See you tomorrow.”

What lessons did you learn as a student that you incorporate into teaching today?

SAMUEL WASHINGTON School: Woodlands High School Grade: High School (9-12) Subject: Biology


Science class always kept the “wonder” by relating the topics directly to me and making me ask questions to challenge myself. I was fascinated! Once you learned something new, the next best thing was to tell someone or to present it in a creative way! I always try to relate topics directly to the students. I try to show them that science is relevant in their everyday lives and is not just restricted to a textbook or even to a classroom.

What is the funniest thing that has happened in your classroom? I had my students go out on campus in the woods right outside of my classroom gathering specimens for a lab. Students who were not used to digging in the dirt, were a little scared of all of the organisms they were exposed to. A garter snake came out and a young man jumped up and said, “Dang Mr. Dub, there are snake size worms out here!” I said, “Son, I got good news and bad news. The good news is that it was not a big worm!” Before I could complete the phrase, he ran back to the classroom shaking his head saying, “I will never forget this. I was almost a statistic!”



CFP Foundation’s Executive Director hits the ground running in Atlanta in celebration of Extra Yard for Teachers Week BY TONY FAY


ot since the introduction of the iPhone has an apple had a better week. Over eight days of celebration, Extra Yard for Teachers (EYFT) Week rolled across the country bringing joy and much overdue recognition to teachers. Spearheading the charge was the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation’s Executive Director Britton Banowsky.

Banowsky spent the celebration’s second weekend in Atlanta, home to this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship. Moving at breakneck pace, Banowsky did interviews, chatted up Atlanta Public School (APS) officials, and spent quality time with remarkable educators. The Extra Yard team dusted off its track shoes and tried to keep up with

the 57-year-old as he cut a swath of goodwill across the Peachtree City. Here’s how it played out: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 Over an English muffin 8:30 and coffee, Banowsky AM meets with Michael Yorio, President of SSI Guardian, a subsidiary of School Specialty, Inc. Last year the CFP Foundation

partnered with Yorio’s company to launch the Extra Yard Classroom Makeover Project. SSI Guardian sponsored the venture that resulted in 10 classrooms complete with new furniture and the latest technology. Banowsky and Yorio agree to run it back, committing to an additional five more classrooms. Banowsky arrives at Atlanta’s ABC affiliate, AM WSB-TV. The station has agreed to be the CFP Foundation’s first-ever media partner, providing needed promotional muscle for flagship CFP Foundation events such as the Extra Yard 5K and Taste of the Championship. On this day, though, Banowsky is on-set to talk Extra Yard for Teachers Week with WSB legend Jocelyn Dorsey, taping an upcoming “People 2 People,” the station’s public affairs show.


CELEBRATE: Students in Atlanta celebrated their teachers during Extra Yard for Teachers Week. cloaked in scarlet and grey. No sooner does Banowsky enter than he is called to the lectern by AFHC Executive Director Carl Adkins. They surprise Dr. Betsy Bockman, principal of Grady, with a check for $50,000 to fund a series of improvement projects.

Banowsky is whisked out of the WSB studios AM and is carted two miles Banowsky concludes a 11:10 round of media interviews up the road to Grady AM High School. at the still The occasion buzzing Grady is the second gym. Banowsky “All In Moment,” and Yorio an event then spend coordinated the afternoon by the Atlanta visiting schools Football Host across the Committee ATL, sharing (AFHC). The classroom gym is packed makeover to the rafters plans with with students in SPREADING THE WORD: Banowsky teachers and a pep rally-like talks teachers on Atlanta’s WSB. administrators — frenzy led by the but not students. school’s pep band, cheerleaders The surprise will be saved for a and mascot, a medieval knight series of big reveals later in the fall.



SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Another English muffin 8:00 and coffee brings together AM Rachel Sprecher of APS, and Greg Giornelli, President of Atlanta-based education pioneers Purpose Built Schools. They discuss a potential partnership that, if realized, could be a game-changer for APS. The three leave the table energized but with lengthy to-do lists before they meet again later in the fall. Banowsky is in contact with chief lieutenants, AM Ryan Allen Hall and Ally Wilker. The pair is in the Big Apple. ESPN’s College GameDay is broadcasting live for the first time from New York City’s Times Square. To commemorate EYFT Week, 40 teachers are invited to the set and are recognized on air along with dozens of students from the region.


10:45 AM

It’s off to Georgia Tech and the Yellow Jacket’s game vs. Pitt. AFHC is hosting 10


teachers for a pre-game tailgate. The group will be honored on the field during the second quarter. Banowsky greets the teachers briefly before heading to the stadium. Making his way to Bobby Dodd Stadium’s press AM box, Banowsky slips into the Georgia Tech radio booth. Andy Demetra, voice of Tech football, interviews him live on the Yellow Jacket Radio Network. Demetra, whose mother was a math teacher, thanks the CFP Foundation for its effort on behalf of teachers.


It’s back to the tailgate for a chance to get to AM know the teachers. The group enjoys barbecue, poses for pictures and swaps stories of life in the classroom.


The teachers make their 2:1 5 way out to the field PM at the first timeout of the second quarter. A brief video is shown, and the 10 educators are recognized for their commitment. It isn’t until they’ve returned to the sidelines that they learn each will receive a $1,000 grant to be put towards classroom needs. No touchdown scored that day comes with a more genuine celebration. Banowsky’s homebound flight is wheels up. He PM has notes, to-dos and memories. Extra Yard for Teachers Week 2017 is in the books, but the CFP Foundation’s work is just beginning.


January 7, 2018 | Georgia Aquarium


n evening of entertainment awaits in Atlanta as the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation hosts Taste of the Championship. Taking place on the eve of the College Football Playoff National Championship, this exquisite event invites attendees to sample food and drink from world renowned chefs residing in Atlanta and regions of the CFP New Year’s Six Bowls. Taste of the Championship serves as a fundraising opportunity for Extra Yard for Teachers initiatives benefitting teachers, schools and students across the country. As the CFP Foundation’s honored guests, former college football standouts and the State Teachers of the Year will interact with attendees as they experience the Taste of the Championship at the Georgia Aquarium.



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