Earlier this month Santa Clara Unified’s Katherine Hughes elementary school received the area’s first benefit from the College Football Playoffs (CFP) championship game that will be played next year in Levi’s Stadium: a $10,000 grant from Extra Yard for Teachers, the CFP’s (www.cfp-foundation.org) signature program supporting K-12 education.
The presentation was the highlight of an April 4 preview at the San José Tech Museum of the events that will lead up to the big game on Jan. 7, 2019.
In addition to the events preview, Jennie Ericson’s third grad class from Katherine Hughes Elementary School enjoyed lunch and an afternoon workshop at the Tech where they learned about physics by building a model roller coaster.
The students also got to meet football luminaries Ronnie Lott and Dennis Brown and San José Sharks and San Francisco 49ers team mascots Sharkey and Sourdough Sam.
In the five years of its existence, Extra Yard has supplied 152,000 teachers with resources and professional development programs that have touched 4.6 million students. The teachers of the year from every state will be honored with a VIP weekend and recognition at the big game.
The foundation is sponsoring two fund-raising events to support Extra Yard: a 5K run through the CFP Championship Campus in downtown San José, and the Taste of Championship dinner where guests will enjoy local and regional specialties.
“The most important ingredient in education is great teachers,” said CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock. “Nothing is more important. Teachers of the year from every state will be recognized in the field before kickoff so they can realize somebody cares—and it’s college football who cares.”
Two years ago Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium was selected to host the 2019 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, the fifth CFP national championship game.
Levi’s Stadium is “one of the truly exceptional venues in the country,” said Hancock, offering “a remarkable stadium” that is “remarkably well-run. Fan experience is terrific and the players are going to love playing there.”
Leading up the game is a series of events in the Championship Campus in downtown San José that will let fans “touch” the event, said Hancock.
These include the interactive Playoffs Fan Central at the San José Convention Center, AT&T Playoff Playlist Live free concert series, a public Media Day at SAP Center, and the Extra Yards events.
There will also be events in Santa Clara on game day. The teams will be staying in Santa Clara.
Downtown San José was chosen for the Championship Campus for its walkability, said Hancock. “We are really excited to get people out of their cars. We see the Playa de Cesar Chavez as comparable to the campus quad” and central to creating a “collegiate experience.”
The event “is huge for the region,” said CFP Host Committee Chair Patricia Ernstrom. “Everyone has a role, and with everybody’s help and the great team we have at Levi’s Stadium” the CFP championship game will be an opportunity for Santa Clara and San José to “shine on the national stage.”