Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown gives a chalk talk prior to the Raiders home opener September 15. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
In an ongoing commitment to the community, the Oakland Raiders have developed another innovative program to benefit local students. The program, named First & Goal Kids, kicked off with the 2013 home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 15th at O.co Coliseum. This program provides local youth and their chaperones the opportunity to attend a game at no cost during the 2013 regular season. Cytosport, Bibby's Chocolates, New Era and THE GLAD Products Company have partnered with the Raiders as sponsors to assist in making this endeavor come to fruition.
For this Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and for each subsequent regular season game, the Raiders are providing students in the Oakland Unified School District with 800 game tickets, transportation and meals.
The Raiders expressed the following about the First & Goal Kids program: "The Raiders have a proud history of giving back to the Oakland community. This program is another example of our commitment to the cities and towns where we live and play our games. Beyond simply keeping students in school, our goal is to motivate students to thrive and succeed in their education. We want to make a difference in the lives of the students who live and attend school in our community."
The students' day begins with a bus ride to O.co Coliseum, courtesy of the Raiders. Upon arriving at the Coliseum, they hear a chalk talk by a Raider Legend and get a visit from Raider Rusher, the latest addition to the Silver and Black's community relations roster.
This Sunday, Lincoln Kennedy, a Raider Legend and sideline reporter for Raiders Radio on 95.7 THE GAME, will address the group about safety on and off the field and the importance of maintaining proper health.
Among the Raider Legends who have addressed groups during the chalk talks are Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown, East Bay native Sam Williams, Santa Rosa's Jerry Robinson, and Vance Mueller.
The group is provided with lunch and escorted by Raiders personnel to their seats, located in sections 301 and 331 at O.co Coliseum. Sections 301 and 331 will be branded as the First & Goal Kids zones. The areas surrounding these sections also will have kids play areas and kid themed concessions.
"Strong relationships with local partners like the Oakland Raiders form the cornerstone of our effort to build America's first Full-Service Community School District, where every school provides not only quality instruction, but also a range of social services that create the conditions necessary for high academic achievement and student growth," said Troy Flint of the Oakland Unified School District.
"The Oakland Raiders have established themselves as one of our most devoted partners and it's tremendously exciting for our students to see an iconic franchise invest in their future and in Oakland schools. Receiving free tickets, getting behind-the-scenes, game day access, and meeting Raider Legends, helps reaffirm the worth of the students, their connection to one of the community's most visible organizations and the potential they have to obtain prominent roles in adulthood like those occupied not only by the players on the field, but also the people in the front office who made this celebration possible."
The Raiders guests for Sunday's contest against the Steelers are Oakland's Coliseum College Preparatory Academy, Dewey Academy, Barack Obama Academy and Community Day School. The district chose these schools, "to support the academic, social-emotional, attendance and health goals of the Oakland Unified School District."
The Raiders provided 800 tickets to the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department for each of the first two regular season home games this season, which distributed them to youngsters involved in various programs.
Last year, for a two-month period, the Raiders donated 10 percent of new, paid in full gross ticket purchases to the Oakland Unified School District, inviting fans to assist Oakland public schools while enjoying a full season with the Silver and Black. .
Please visit the community section here on the Raiders official website for additional information on the Raiders' ongoing commitment to the community.