At Raymond James Stadium, the sounds of referee whistles and cheering football fans at both the Outback Bowl and the College Football National Championship may have faded from the Tampa Bay area, but thanks to the College Football Playoff Foundation’s (CFP) education initiatives and grant funding, Hillsborough County Public School students will find the pathway to college more obtainable for years to come.
Adding to the excitement leading up to Tampa hosting two college bowl games, there were College Football Playoff Green, the Florida FASFA Challenge and Extra Yards for Teachers initiatives.
In a collaborative effort with CFP, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Gerdau, and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, the College Football Playoff Green initiative challenged the 10 Hillsborough County Elementary Schools to engage in sustainability projects with their students. Bailey, Bryan, Dickenson, Mintz, Oak Grove, Robles, Thompson, Westshore, Wimauma and Witter Elementary Schools all answered CFP’s challenge.
Each school completed projects in four of the following areas: Recycling, Food Waste, Water Conservation, Energy Conservation and Environmental Education. Some of the activities included posters and neighborhood clean-ups, among others.
The College Football Green arm awarded each of the participating schools $1,000 to use in partnership with keep Tampa Bay Beautiful to enhance the grounds, as well as a $500 gift certificate to purchase school supplies.
After Monday’s College Football Championship game, all the materials used at Raymond James will be overhauled and repurposed in efforts to continue promoting a clean environment for all. The Green footprint from the Playoff will remain in our schools for years to come.
The CFP partnered with local organizations like Helios Education Foundation, Florida College Access Network and professional sports teams to kick off Extra Yards for Teachers.
To build around the notion of a "college going culture", the CFP Foundation and its partners want to build a strong college going culture in our district by supplying college banners to every school in the district.
The College Banner Program began in 2014 and inspires students to believe that a college education is achievable. College going culture shapes the expectation of a college education for students by boosting their curiosity and confidence while building hope of a rewarding life after graduation.
In addition to college banners, CFP assists the completion of college financial aid forms by granting high schools funding to cover the expense of conducting workshops and activities that assist students in becoming college ready.
The celebrations kicked off with a digital campaign #ThankATeacher which ran from September 17-24. The week started with the donation of 20 mini iPads for a class at Broward Elementary, followed by the launch of grant opportunities for guidance counselors and classroom teachers to continue promoting a college and career going culture after high school. During the USF & FSU game, Saturday, September 24th a group of educators where highlighted and recognized on the field at Raymond James for their commitment to education.
One of the most exciting events from this week took place at the Countdown to the Championship Luncheon, where 280 Donors Choose projects from Hillsborough County Public Schools were fully funded by CFP and local partners. This donation of $200,488.40 translates into books, supplies, technology and educational trips for our students to continue preparing them for life.