The 2019 season marked the fifth consecutive year of a successful partnership among the Notre Dame Athletics Department, the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), and the College Football Playoff Foundation and its Extra Yard for Teachers initiative.
The initiative aligns with the Athletics Department’s five core pillars: Community, Excellence, Education, Tradition and Faith. In collaboration with the College Football Playoff Foundation, the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative was uniquely designed, allowing Notre Dame to raise awareness and resources to support the mission of ACE, educating and supporting talented teachers for service to students in under-resourced Catholic schools across the United States.
In 2019, this collaborative effort catalyzed 674 gifts that totaled $584,273. In comparison to last year, this is an increase of 43%. In addition, $600 was directed to public school programs through the Donors Choose website. Each year, the Fighting Irish have finished number one in dollars raised among the 75-100 institutions participating nationwide.
Those donations, coupled with a generous $150,000 match provided by the College Football Playoff Foundation, resulted in a grand total of $734,273 raised for the 2019 campaign. In five years, this partnership has raised $2,893,195 to support the work of ACE on behalf of thousands of students in 34 communities from New York to Los Angeles. In addition to helping ACE to grow and improve its formation efforts through its Master of Education program, these gifts also supported the advancement of the ACE Teachers-in-Residence program and provided much-needed funding for projects designed by ACE teachers to enhance the educational opportunities for their students (examples include new technology, STEM materials, culturally responsive literature, and equipment to establish or extend programs in music, drama, and athletics). The College Football Playoff Foundation’s four tenets–direct provision of resources, teacher recognition, professional development and leadership training, and inspiring a college-going culture perfectly align with ACE’s mission and philosophy.