The 2017 season marked the third consecutive year that the Notre Dame Athletics Department partnered with the College Football Playoff Foundation in the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative to raise awareness and resources to support the mission of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).
This partnership catalyzed 616 gifts totaling $514,424. This represents a 29 percent increase over last year’s totals. Each year, the Fighting Irish have been number one in dollars raised among the 100 schools participating nationwide.
Those donations, coupled with a generous $150,000 match provided by the College Football Playoff Foundation, resulted in a grand total of $665,024 raised for the 2017 campaign. In the first three years participating in the program, Notre Dame athletics raised $1,606,015 for the ACE program. These gifts helped support establishment of the ACE Teachers in Residence program, providing much-needed funding to enhance the under-resourced schools where ACE teachers serve.
During the 2017 football season, the Miami (Ohio) home football game was designated as the Extra Yard for Teachers game. Some of the many corresponding activations that took place that weekend include the following:
- A banner ceremony was held Sept. 28 at St. Anthony de Padua Elementary School in South Bend to inspire a college-going culture. Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey was the keynote speaker, offering words of wisdom that addressed the value of a college education. Brey emphasized that if the students work hard and listen to their teachers, a college degree is achievable for all of them. A Notre Dame banner now hangs in the school, serving as a reminder of this powerful message: EYFT Banner Ceremony
- Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly was featured in a promotional video shown at the Miami (Ohio) pep rally and football game: EYFT BK video
- Informational tables were set up on the concourse of the Joyce Center on game day, in the FanFest area. Fans learned about the ACE program and were offered the opportunity to make donations to the EYFT initiative.
- An ACE reception was held prior to the game–with Father Tim Scully, CSC, founder of the ACE program, ACE teachers, members of the College Football Playoff Foundation and Notre Dame athletics staff members attending.
- Game day football programs and UND.com included a feature story on the initiative: EYFT gameday program
- Father Scully, ACE teachers, members of the ACE staff, as well as representatives from the College Football Playoff Foundation, were recognized on the field during the first quarter of the football game