NEW ORLEANS – ESPN and the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation came together to celebrate its five-year partnership of the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, with a special in-game presentation to recognize the over $2 million in investments ESPN has made, as part of the CFP National Championship in New Orleans on January 13.
ESPN, who telecasted the game, was one of the first partners to support the CFP Foundation and its Extra Yard for Teachers initiative through programming, teacher appreciation events at College GameDay and DonorsChoose.org donations.
In its first five years, the program has supported more than 250,000 teachers nationwide and positively impacted more than six million students.
New Orleans — the site of the 2020 CFP National Championship — is challenged with recruiting and retaining top teachers, and consequently, 900 public school teachers leave the profession each year.
To address this problem, the CFP Foundation, with the support of ESPN, has established a Teacher Recruitment Coalition with New Orleans to recruit qualified teachers from local universities, while also supporting the University of New Orleans to develop more high-quality teachers within the city.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, and as a result of the investments in student teaching stipends, more than 130 University of New Orleans students have completed their field experiences within the New Orleans Public Schools.
Additionally, the CFP Foundation, in partnership with New Schools for New Orleans, is funding professional development for nine school networks (28 individual schools), where administrators are receiving individualized coaching and resources from across the country on best practices and systems to retain their teachers.
The special in-game presentation was held on the field during the third commercial break in the first quarter to commemorate the five-year anniversary. ESPN President, Jimmy Pitaro and College Football Playoff Executive Director, Bill Hancock joined teacher and student representatives from New Orleans Public Schools and Jefferson Parish Schools and presented them with an additional $100,000 in resources for educators and students through DonorsChoose.org.
The Extra Yard for Teachers platform is successful in supporting and uplifting teachers by focusing on four major areas: recognition, resources, professional development, recruitment and retention. The initiative has collectively invested approximately $30 million nationally in support of education.