California Educator

August/September 2021

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Page 52 of 75

F O O T B A L L S E A S O N i s up on us — and engaging and teaching students through a popular sport makes sense on many levels. That 's th e idea b ehind 49ers EDU, th e National Football League team's educational arm. Back in 2013, when the 49ers' new sta- dium was being built in Santa Clara, the York family, owners of the team, decided to develop an educational curriculum for local children and youth. " When Levi's Stadium was constructed, the Yorks wanted to do something for the Bay Area community," says Jesse Lovejoy, director of 49ers EDU. He adds the program, which offers educational services directly rather than through a vendor, is unique to the NFL. Since it launched in 2014, 49ers EDU has developed a standards-aligned STEAM cur- riculum for K-8 students, both in person and online. It leverages football and Levi's Sta- dium as platforms to connect, engage and inspire students and educators. Science and math teachers and representatives from the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Exploratorium and th e Mont erey Bay Aquarium , among oth ers, ser ve on th e program's education advisory committee. e curriculum is aligned to Common Core and Next Gen eration S cience Standard s. "Project-based learning is the main peda- gogy," Lovejoy says. Including Lovejoy, the 49ers EDU staff of six includes four Former 49ers player Ben Garland high-fives excited students. Winning Lessons Kick off the school year with a little football The Spanish edition of the Playbook was launched last spring. 51 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 21 T

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