By Liz Sullivan
The Super Bowl will be played in Santa Clara and last about four hours. The impact will last for years.
As part of Super Bowl 50, which will be played at Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016, the National Football League (NFL) has created an initiative called Super Kids-Super Sharing. It provides an opportunity to involve students in the excitement of the Super Bowl and reinforce the lesson of helping other children.
The Diocese of San Jose has asked its 29 elementary schools to participate.
“When the National Football League (NFL) environmental group approached Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Almazol and me to be a part of the NFL Project, we were very curious about our schools’ participation,” said Kim Shields, Assistant Superintendent. “We didn’t understand the NFL project and we were very pleased at the amount of outreach to our local community. Part of our mission as Catholics is to serve others and our schools always do such an outstanding job of providing outreach to our local communities throughout the year. This project is a great opportunity to give back to those in need in our local communities a few weeks before one of the biggest annual events in our country, the Super Bowl.
“As the mother of two boys, sports have always been a big part of something we did as a family. Many of our Catholic school families have benefited by participating in sports, and what a great way to provide outreach to so many under the auspices of the NFL and the Super Bowl. It is an event that occurs on one day, but the benefits will be felt all year as we gather as a Catholic community to reach out to the least of our brothers.”
Participating schools collect new or lightly used books, sports equipment and school supplies in early January. The NFL provides posters, flyer templates, instructions and other materials to make this project easy to implement.
This year, since the Bay Area has two NFL teams, there will be two collection days. On January 19, at Santa Clara University, the San Francisco 49ers will hold collection day. Then on January 21, the Oakland Raiders will hold its collection day at Alameda Point. These days will feature the collection of items in the morning and then fun, football-like activities planned by the teams afterwards.
The program began in 1994 and last year when the game was held in Phoenix 33,000 items were collected, including 20,000 books.
Super Kids-Super Sharing is part of the NFL’s rapidly growing environmental initiative for Super Bowl. NFL Environmental evaluates the environmental impacts of Super Bowl activities and works with the local community to develop and implement cost-effective and sustainable projects to address them. This is accomplished through solid waste management, material reuse, food recovery, greenhouse gas reduction, tree plantings and other community projects. NFL has incorporated environmental initiatives into Super Bowl for the past 23 years in an effort to minimize the impact of Super Bowl activities on the local and global environment and provide a “green” legacy to the host community.
“This really allows the kids to get involved in a more personal way,” said Jack Groh, Director NFL Environmental Program, who gave a presentation to the schools at the Diocesan headquarters in late October. “We are leveraging the Super Bowl to benefit the community.”