The College Football Playoff Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by College Football Playoff and dedicated to promoting the importance of education, extended its Extra Yard for Teachers initiative to a local South Bend Catholic grade school, St. Adalbert, via a formal banner-hanging ceremony Sept. 22.
Through the EYFT initiative, the foundation provides philanthropy to support and recognize teachers and to promote a college-bound culture in schools. It collaborates with the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education, which seeks to strengthen and transform Catholic elementary and secondary schools throughout the country by preparing a new generation of teachers and leaders. St. Adalbert has collaborated with ACE for years.
As part of the banner-handing ceremony, the school hosted Paqui Kelly, wife of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly, and Kate Sobrero Markgraf, former Notre Dame soccer player, Olympic gold medalist and current ESPN analyst. Both spoke about making education a priority and the important role that teachers play in students’ lives.
“The banner ceremony was to celebrate the ND and ACE relationship with Extra Yard for Teachers,” Jenny O’Donnell, ACE graduate and assistant principal of St. Adalbert, said.
At the end of the ceremony, the Notre Dame leprechaun mascot assisted three student athletes from the school in hanging up a Notre Dame banner in honor of the event.
Andrew Currier, principal of St. Adalbert, felt that the event had the desired effect of positively influencing his students.
“The chance to listen to women of strength, success, charity and fortitude was especially wonderful,” he commented. “Our students were incredibly engaged, from Pre-K through eighth.”
John Staud, executive director of ACE, acknowledged the foundation’s efforts to foster an environment of learning through strategic partnerships.
“The College Football Playoff Foundation has issued a matching grant to the Alliance for Catholic Education for up to $100,000 to support our teachers and students in under-resourced Catholic schools,” he said. “The foundation also seeks to encourage a college-going culture; hence the purpose of the event at St. Adalbert.”
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