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Civic, Education Leaders Launch Virtual Hub to Equip Indiana Educators and Families for New Era of eLearning

Indianapolis eLearning Fund and the College Football Playoff Foundation gift $2.4 million to statewide eLearning Lab

INDIANAPOLIS (July 22, 2020) —COVID-19 has ushered in a new era in education in which at least some virtual learning will be the norm. To help prepare for this reality, the Indianapolis eLearning Fund and the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation today announced the launch of the Indiana eLearning Lab, a dynamic, virtual hub for educators across the state to access teaching content, share best practices for eLearning, find community and grow professionally. The Lab will also provide support for families as they assist their children in successfully participating in eLearning activities.

The Indianapolis eLearning Fund, a collaboration of Indianapolis civic, philanthropic and corporate partners working to address gaps in internet connectivity and device access, developed the lab and will invest $1.6 million in its operations.

The CFP National Championship will take place in Indianapolis in January 2022. The event’s local host committee and the CFP Foundation will make an $800,000 gift to the Indiana eLearning Lab as part of the game’s $1 million legacy impact in Indianapolis.

“As eLearning becomes part of the new normal, educators and families across the state need enriching content, opportunities for collaboration, professional development and technical assistance so they can address common challenges and help students thrive in a virtual learning environment,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation who serves as an advisory member of the Indianapolis eLearning Fund and an executive member of the Indianapolis College Football Playoff National Championship host committee. “The Indianapolis eLearning Fund developed the Indiana eLearning Lab as a way to address these needs on a statewide scale. We’re so grateful that the CFP Foundation has partnered with us to make possible this hub to support Hoosier teachers and students.”

“The Indianapolis e-Learning Fund encapsulates our city’s ethos of working together to solve problems. This philosophy has helped us punch above our weight class, from building a thriving downtown to being among the only cold-weather cities of our size to host a Super Bowl,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett, whose office administers the Indianapolis eLearning Fund. “Now we are coming together to tackle one of the most fundamental needs facing our community, and I’m glad that the Lab, created by this group of funders, can be a resource to educators and students statewide.”

The Lab will help meet pressing needs among educators in Indiana. A May survey of public and private school teachers from across the state showed 90% of teachers are interested in accessing virtual professional development and 93% are interested in connecting with other educators to discuss approaches or resources for eLearning. More than 80% of respondents reported challenges keeping students engaged in eLearning, highlighting why it’s critical to prioritize resources, connectivity and training.

For educators, the Indiana eLearning Lab will curate enriching content and flexible lesson plans, provide communities of practice for sharing ideas, and offer webinars and remote learning courses in areas such as virtual instruction and social and emotional learning.

SETDA, a national nonprofit focused on eLearning, and Five Star Technology Solutions, an Indiana-based education technology provider, were chosen to launch and operate the Lab through a competitive RFP. Indianapolis education nonprofit The Mind Trust is overseeing the first year of implementation in partnership with the Indianapolis eLearning Fund. The Lab will be available to educators across the state free of charge when schools start in the coming weeks.

The Indiana eLearning Lab aligns with the CFP Foundation’s longstanding focus on elevating the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers in four core areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development.

“The CFP National Championship will help drive economic development, foster civic pride, elevate Indianapolis on a global stage and make possible a community-wide impact through the game’s legacy project,” said CFP Foundation Executive Director Britton Banowsky. “We are proud to support an initiative that helps meet a need to support teachers and families during this critical moment in our nation’s history – and in education.”

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About the Indianapolis eLearning Fund
Following the implementation of state and local restrictions for area schools, a group of stakeholders established the Indianapolis eLearning Fund, which to date has raised $3.5 million to support educators, students, and families during their transition to eLearning. Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Office of Education Innovation administers the Fund, and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee serves as the fiscal agent. Learn more about the Fund partners and how to contribute at indy.gov/elearning.

About the College Football Playoff Foundation and Extra Yard for Teachers
The CFP Foundation is the community investment arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary cause platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, is dedicated to elevating the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes. To learn more, visit cfp-foundation.org and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.

Media Contacts:

Hannah Riffle, On Behalf of the Indianapolis eLearning Fund

M: 812.457.2341 \ E: [email protected]

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