Coach Sam’s Scholars Programs

Annual Appeal 2022
Annual Appeal 2022

Coach Sam’s Scholars Programs

Dear Friends, 

2020 has been a difficult year, a year that has tested our resolve. 2020 has also been a year where we have had the opportunity to demonstrate our strength, adapting and innovating our programming to meet the needs of at-risk school aged children
during this challenging time.

During the 2019-2020 academic year and before the Covid crisis:

  • We implemented our Aiming Higher program in eleven schools, more schools than ever before and reached more students, impacting 250 students, more students than ever before.
  • We coordinated a staff of 30+ educators, tutors.
  • We changed our Foundation’s name to Coach Sam’s Scholars.
  • We initiated a promising partnership with the “Say Yes” program of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and partnered with other CMSD programs.
  • We authored a new Personal Development curriculum that enhanced our unique literacy curriculum.
  • We participated in and contributed to community events and programs.


In short, WE were rolling.

We had big plans for our April 2020 fundraiser, what we expected to be our most successful Legends fundraiser. We expected to host 500+ guests to meet and honor Cleveland Legends, Cleveland Browns, Hall of Famer, Ozzie Newsome and Northeast Ohio legendary coach, Bob Mihalik. We were confident that this would be our most entertaining and most financially successful fundraiser, ever.

By mid-March, the virus disrupted everyone’s life. We had to suspend Coach Sam’s Scholars in person school programming and postpone our Legends event.

The Covid crisis attempted to put our work on hold, but our mission, to provide educational support to at risk children, remained our guiding principle and its urgency to fulfill it, intensified. We had to ensure that our young scholars still had access to learning.

Before the end of March, we created virtual innovative programming options, and our website was running two brand new programs, Coach Sam’s Playbook & Coach Sam’s Audible.

As we rolled into summer and the uncertainty of the 2020-2021 school year loomed, it became apparent that we would need to design a range of alternatives for our Coach Sam’s Scholars programming. We remained in contact with CMSD so that we could support their remote operations to assist CMSD scholars.

The Covid crisis has taxed our resources, but it has not diminished our drive. When the public health situation permitted, we began planning a summer 2020 golf outing fundraiser. Planning any event at the time was challenging. As we considered our options, our board mobilized around a message that had been posted on our website for years: Together We Can.

This has become our rallying cry. It was the theme of our 2020 golf outing, our most well attended golf outing, and it is the theme that continues to drive us. Together, with our generous golf outing participants, we raised significant funds, enabling us to continue to deliver our programs. Together, with your support, we can further our mission and provide support to the children we serve. Together We Can Continue to Serve Our Coach Sam’s Scholars.

Please take the time to see what WE are doing TOGETHER and how YOU can help us make an immediate and lasting impact for our Coach Sam’s Scholars.

Thank you,

Sam Rutigliano

Create an Immediate and Lasting Impact

Support Coach Sam’s Scholars’ Annual Appeal


To provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development, and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child.

Mail Your Tax Deductible Contribution to:

Coach Sam’s Scholars
23715 Mercantile Rd
Suite #217A
Beachwood, OH 44122

or send us an email at: info@coachsams.org or call (216) 223-3020.
During the 2020-21 school year, Coach Sam’s remains committed to meeting the needs of our scholars by offering virtual programs as well as going to physical sites in community centers, churches, libraries, community businesses, and more. Each week, we continue to find ways to reach more CMSD scholars who need our assistance, programming, and staff. Now more than ever, your contribution will make a difference.

The Value of Your Contribution


Fund new books each year for our students, many of which are given to the children to keep at the end of the year.


Provide support for up to 24 third grade students in each school we serve.


Sponsor one of the three innovative components of our Aiming Higher program: literacy, personal development, or health and fitness.

$1,001-$5,000 ACADEMICALLY

Help to pay staff to maintain the high level of programming provide in each school we serve.


Help expand our successful program to more schools and students who need our help.


After “School” with Cleveland Public Library

We are partnering with the Cleveland Public Library to provide Coach Sam’s programming (Aiming Higher) after school programs in a library setting. CMSD students will also receive help with their schoolwork. While we are starting as a virtual (Zoom) program, our hope is that this program will be in-person soon and that we will continue to grow our partnership with the Cleveland Public Library.


Coach Sam’s Playbook

In March of 2020, Coach Sam’s tutors and staff designed interactive and engaging lessons on our website for scholars, including dynamic videos, worksheets, vocabulary review, workouts, arts and crafts, dancing, cooking ideas, and so much more! To support student achievement, throughout the spring and summer (every week) of 2020, Coach Sam’s staff created and posted lessons for the entire CMSD and beyond community. We continue to post lessons to the Playbook throughout the 2020-2021 year.


CMSD Learning Pods

In response to CMSD Superintendent Eric Gordon’s call to action to community partners, Coach Sam’s has teamed up with the Rainey Institute, Reach Success, and the Salvation Army to deliver its programming to CMSD scholars at designated community sites. This in-person program operates Monday through Friday for 60+ CMSD students from varying schools at the Rainey Institute and at the Salvation Army. In these learning pods, Coach Sam’s team assists students (K-8) with their remote
instruction. Coach Sam’s oversees all afternoon programs (12-4 PM) and provides programming when students are not in class and when there is no school. Scholars are provided with meals, exercise, technology, and guided academic support.


Coach Sam’s Homework Help

Many students and their families have struggled to transition to remote learning. Parents and caregivers face demanding work schedules and having to assist students with virtual schedules, homework, studying, etc. is difficult and sometimes impossible. This has proven to be especially difficult for CMSD families, as many are deemed “essential workers” and are not home or able to assist. In addition, virtual connectivity has compounded this struggle. Further, many families do not have the tools to support students. Coach Sam’s Scholars has opened two drop-in centers (East and West side locations) as well as a virtual call center to assist students and their families. Coach Sam’s staff are available at these locations to assist any student with classwork or homework. We have tutors at both sites ready to assist any family that walks in!