CFB Championship Bringing “Extra Yard” To Tampa

Extra Yard To Benefit Tampa’s Educators

 

Tampa–The College Football Championship is coming to Tampa. While it’s one of the top-5 sporting events on the calendar, there’s a lot more going on here than a football game.

One of the biggest priorities that CFP executive Bill Hancock want to do is help the community. Many business owners may look at this with dollar signs in their eyes as the tourists and revenue is expected to increase during the festivities of the Championship week.

It all sounds nice but CFB is doing something more impactful to help the community and it involves those who teach the next generation. At an introductory press conference announcing everything dealing with the CFB championship game, Hancock and company announced the “Extra Yard For Teachers.”

It’s a program that wholly focuses on the teachers and one of the biggest things it will do is CFP_ExtraYardLogo“honoring, celebrating, inspiring and empowering teachers” per its website.

So how does the Extra Yard For Teachers work? Well, for starters, the program donates $1 million dollars to the CFB host city’s education. So that’s a $1 million dollars that will directly go and benefit Tampa’s educators. Along with the donation comes leadership training, which includes a summit that is wholly free for teachers.

“We will be giving a million dollars towards education in this area. It is a program we believe in very strongly and we are delighted to bring it to Tampa,” Hancock said.

That summit will happen at the Tampa Convention Center and it will feature guest speakers.  Through various training courses offered, the goal is to help teachers improve their classroom’s environment.

However, it’s still about celebrating and showing support for those who are teaching the next generation. The summit has seen great success in the two previous cities according to Hancock. Hancock said that there was nearly a thousand in Dallas and nearly 800 in Phoenix to the free event.

As for Hancock, this program has a little bit of a personal touch for him.

“My wife was a high school teacher,” Hancock said. “She taught senior English for 30 years and so education is my own personal passion. There are lots of teachers in your city and others around the country, who because of lack of funding, have to go and buy school supplies. That’s what we are all about, taking care of Mrs. Smith in fourth grade saying ‘we are going to buy your Crayolas so you don’t have to.'”

But something like this doesn’t just happen by itself. CFB doesn’t show up and say “here’s a flyer, come to a summit and here’s $1 million dollars.” It takes a lot of work and Hancock and the EYFT foundation is preparing to take Tampa by storm to get the word out.

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“We are going to use the superintendents of the school districts, primarily Pinellas and Hillsborough,” Director of Community Relations Ryan Hall said. “We will probably work some community groups as well. We will probably work with the (Tampa Bay) Buccaneers as well. We are going to do a lot of foot traffic in the schools and have personal relationships with the teachers. Our job is by January (2017) is for you to feel the impact of that. A lot of things we will do is tangible to the community.”

All of these efforts will happen closer to the championship game, which means that Hall and the community relations people still have plenty of time to prepare. It seems that 2016 and into 2017 is the year for the teachers– thanks to the CFB coming to Tampa. Hall hopes that many teachers will take advantage of the summit and be a part of the festivities.

A program like this couldn’t succeed without one important thing–the passion that Hancock, Hall and others have for educators. Which is why Hall expects the same turnout, if not better, for the Tampa summit.

“We will expect between 700 and 1000 teachers here,” Hall said. “The passion here is really high early on which is going to help.”

But the $1 million and the summit aren’t the only things the CFB and EYFT is bringing to Tampa. As mentioned before, they want to help teachers who have to pay for things out of their pockets. In order to do this is through donorschoose.org.

“A lot of the things that we do will be tangible to the community,” Hall said. “As Bill (Hancock) mentioned, we will partner with donorschoose.org to help put supplies immediately into teachers’ classrooms. We will be putting resources directly into those class rooms.”

While to some it sounds fanciful and unrealistic, this isn’t the CFB and EYFT’s first rodeo. They’ve done this before in Dallas and in Phoenix. Now, it’s Tampa’s turn and teachers should be excited about the College Football championship game because it’s not only about a football game, it’s also about them.

“You are going to see the impact and benefit of what we do for this community,” Hall said.

images courtesy of Extra Yard For Teachers and CFB. 

a previous edition of this story said the NCAA hosted the College Football championship. This is incorrect and the story has been updated to reflect this correction. 

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Thomas Fernandez is the managing editor for Sports Talk Florida and News Talk Florida. He started his career in media by covering the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning. After covering the NHL for two years, he hopped on board the news cycle and has been covering both sports and news for the last year. He has covered major sporting events as well as politics which affects the Florida audience. Thomas is a Tampa native and graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor of arts in Public Relations.