ACC Partners With Extra Yard for Teachers In Support Of Education

Conference funds 135 classroom projects; welcomes local teachers to Football Championship Game

ORLANDO, FL – In partnership with the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, the Atlantic Coast Conference is recognizing teachers and providing funding for classroom projects in Orlando and the two participating team’s communities as a part of the 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. 

“Education is at the heart of what our league does,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The ACC is proud to celebrate the teachers and schools that do so much and provide more opportunities in the classroom for children throughout these communities.” 

Initiatives have included distribution of gift cards to fund classroom projects at an area school visited by ACC mascots earlier this week, and to Orlando area Teacher of the Year finalists and West Lakes neighborhood invitees in attendance at the ACC Dr Pepper Football Championship Game.

“The College Football Playoff Foundation is pleased to partner with the Atlantic Coast Conference to support educational initiatives throughout the conference and its geographic footprint,” said CFP Foundation Executive Director Britton Banowsky.

Other collective initiatives in conjunction with Extra Yard for Teachers and Florida Citrus Sports/LIFT Orlando include funding of 56 classroom projects on in the Orlando area; 40 projects in Pickens and Oconee, South Carolina counties; and 49 projects in Montgomery, Pulaski, Radford and Roanoke, Virginia counties. A total of 135 projects were funded, with more than 12,000 students at 68 schools supported. 

As part of the CFP Foundation’s College Banner Program, college banners were donated to be displayed in area classrooms to inspire a college-going culture, and the Orlando Teachers of the Year and other LIFT Orlando teacher invitees will be treated to a VIP experience at the Championship Game.

The recognition of the Teacher of the Year finalists on Saturday evening is the culmination of combined efforts by the ACC, Florida Citrus Sports, the College Football Playoff Foundation and LIFT Orlando to support of education and the teaching profession in the Orlando community. 

Extra Yard for Teachers, the primary cause brand of the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation, seeks to elevate the teaching professions by inspiring and empowering quality teachers. The ACC and its member institutions actively participated in the Extra Yard for Teachers Week held Sept. 17-24 in addition to other fundraising and promotional activities throughout the current football season. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides an online platform for teachers to post projects requesting classroom supplies with the hope of crowdfunding these requests. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and anyone can give any amount to the project that inspires them. Since 2000, over 678,600 projects have been funded by nearly 2 million supporters, impacting more than 17 million students across all 50 states.

Since 2013, the CFP Foundation has worked with to dedicate $2.7 million to fund more than 6,400 classroom projects, impacting more than 650,000 students. In partnership with ESPN, local universities, and bowl games, the CFP Foundation has surprised the following markets by funding all project requests:
North Texas
Glendale, Arizona 
New Orleans
Pasadena, California 
Arizona (State)
13 select markets surrounding universities

LIFT Orlando is dedicated to helping families build a better life for themselves through education, mixed-income housing, community health & wellness and economic development. The organization was created in 2012 by concerned business leaders who became inspired by the desire of Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports (FCS) to leverage the redevelopment of Camping World Stadium to ignite neighborhood transformation. 

Johanna Lopez of Colonial High School, Ginger Carter of Winter Park High School, Gina Minchey of Lake Nona Middle School, Danielle Miller of University High School and Mary Reynolds, an exceptional student education teacher in the district, are the 2017 finalists for the Orange County Public Schools Teacher of the Year award. 

In addition to activities held in conjunction with the 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, FCS recognized eight local teachers on the field during the first quarter of the Camping World Kickoff game between Florida State and Ole Miss on Labor Day for their efforts and dedication to the children of the West Lakes community. These teachers included Toshia Blake and Sarah Lander from Orange Center Elementary, Sheena Garth-Clayton and Kristyn Newman from Legends Academy, Linda Benett and Jessica Thompson from Frontline Outreach, and William Bolt and Jessica Clark from Jones High School.

Last year, FCS announced a partnership with the College Football Playoff Foundation that will result in the funding of classroom project requests for public schools in the neighborhoods surrounding Camping World Stadium. 

“We’re excited for all the ways that the rebuilt stadium and our events are directly impacting lives in our community,” said Hogan. “Florida Citrus Sports is proud to partner with the ACC, the College Football Playoff Foundation and of course our friends at LIFT Orlando and the West Lakes communities to make this weekend’s game a winner for the kids who live closest to the venue.”

The Atlantic Coast Conference’s efforts at this year’s Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game continue the league’s long show of support of education at its championship events and through community outreach.

2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship: The 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game will kick off at 8 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.  The game will be nationally televised on ABC and will feature the Atlantic Division Co-Champion, Clemson, against the Coastal Division Champion, Virginia Tech.  To purchase tickets, and for more information on the full weekend of ACC festivities, visit