The 2019 season marked the fifth consecutive year of partnership among the Notre Dame Athletics Department, the College Football Playoff Foundation and its Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, and the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).
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.
Heading into the 2019 season, this partnership has raised $2,163,597 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).
A banner ceremony to inspire a college-going culture was held at St. Vincent de Paul in Elkhart. The entire student body, faculty, and staff participated. Mike Brown, former Leprechaun and Mario Morris, Deputy Athletics Director, both served as the keynote speakers. They both emphasized the value of a college education and told them that if they put their mind towards something, anything is achievable.
John Staud, Executive Director of the Alliance for Catholic Education, also spoke to the students about ACE and how it impacts the lives of teachers and students in Catholic schools around the country. John spoke fondly of the special relationship that ACE enjoys with St. Vincent de Paul.