Pro Football Hall of Fame Again Recognized for Programming Excellence


The Pro Football Hall of Fame has earned a 2020-2021 CILC Pinnacle Award, an honor bestowed on entities across the globe that provide learning opportunities through their programming while receiving exemplary reviews from participants.

This latest award marks the 12th time in the Pinnacle Award’s 14-year existence that the Hall of Fame has been recognized.

A nonprofit organization founded in 1994, the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) is the nation’s leading clearinghouse for interactive, virtual programs for students and lifelong learners.

In a news release announcing the winners, CILC said that each year, content providers from around the world are recognized for their “Programs of Distinction” and for receiving outstanding ratings on program evaluation by educators and activity directors.

“Content providers, representing museums, science centers, art galleries, zoos, aquariums, musicians and authors – as recipients of this annual award – stand out as demonstrating remarkable quality of educational content and exceptional skill at program delivery,” CILC wrote in its release.

To receive the Pinnacle Award this year, organizations were required to receive a score of 95% or above for the entire year on their evaluations.

The Hall of Fame’s Youth & Education Team provides such programming as “Heart of a Hall of Famer” and “Before the Snap” to provide inspiration and to encourage everyone – in particular, school-age children – to achieve “Hall of Fame success” on and off the field.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is honored to win this award again,” said Jerry Csaki, Director of Youth and Education. “It’s special to us because it not only recognizes the very best among cultural institutions from around the globe, but it’s also an award that is based solely on feedback provided by teachers who participate in our video conference programs.

“What’s best is all these programs are free for any school, courtesy of our partners at Extreme Networks.”

Through video conferencing, the Hall of Fame connects with classrooms across the country to discuss with students dozens of topics, such as “Movement and Motion,” “Careers in the NFL” and “Women in Football.” Students also hear from members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame about what it takes to succeed not only on the field but after their playing careers have ended.

Jan Zanetis, the managing director of CILC, called 2020 “an unprecedented challenge for our content providers,” noting that many schools and museums were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s doors were shut from mid-March to mid-June in 2020, but its remote learning programs continued.

“CILC’s content providers not only rose to the challenge, they surmounted it,” Zanetis said.

The Heart of a Hall of Famer program connected by Extreme Networks reached more than 8,700 K-12 students, a record number, through 14 distinct programs this past school year.

In its first year, the “Before the Snap” program, which introduces older students to men and women who play key roles for NFL teams behind the scenes, featured 32 episodes with 17 organizations (10 NFL teams and seven others). Students from nearly 150 different colleges and universities from across the country commented with questions on the program.

To learn more about the Hall of Fame’s Youth & Education programs at