The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced today the 22 winning schools in the "D-backs $100,000 School Challenge," presented by University of Phoenix. With more than 300 submissions from Arizona schools, the winning grants come from all around the state of Arizona and will fund projects ranging in need from school improvements to innovative educational programs. Through the School Challenge program, the D-backs have provided more than 120 schools with grants for an overall monetary commitment of more than $600,000 since the program launched in 2012.
"The D-backs are excited to once again partner with University of Phoenix to provide Arizona schools with much needed funding through our School Challenge program," said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. "Each year the applications get more creative and we see that in many cases this type of funding is a necessity. We are proud to be able to help schools across the state to encourage innovative educational programs and to assist where it is so desperately needed."
Winning schools will use the grant money to satisfy an array of needs, ranging from a STEM baseball robotics project to a desert garden and a new scoreboard to a special needs playground. Each winning school will be honored and receive a check on the field at a 2016 D-backs game next April and May at Chase Field. The D-backs will donate 1,000 tickets for students, parents, teachers and staff to attend the D-backs' game in which their school will be honored.
"Our nation's primary school teachers play an important role in inspiring youth to become lifelong learners, and need support and resources from the community to achieve this goal," said Timothy P. Slottow, president of University of Phoenix. "University of Phoenix is proud to continue working with the D-backs to support Arizona schools through its annual grant program, and know these resources will help Arizona educators enhance the student experience and prepare them with the skills and knowledge they need to be tomorrow's leaders."
Submissions from teachers and faculty came from nine counties in the state and 38 cities. All public, private and nonprofit charter schools, Grades K-12 were eligible and the winning schools sought to bring in funds to assist in one of four categories: educational programs, innovation and technology, nutrition and fitness and school/campus improvements. The winning schools were:
- Academia del Pueblo School, Phoenix - Innovative Student Microscope Technology
- Arizona Desert Elementary, Tolleson - Science through Experiments and Literature
- Burk Elementary, Gilbert - Reflex Math Site License
- Cactus High School - Glendale, Picture This Snapshot of Desert Ecology
- CASA Academy, Phoenix - Help Keep Our Students Safe
- Centerra Mirage STEM Academy, Goodyear - Drama Club
- Circle Cross Ranch STEM Academy, Florence - Building a STEM Program
- Conley Elementary, Chandler - Special Needs Playground
- Griffith Elementary, Phoenix - Griffith Point of Pride - Outdoor Scoreboard
- Highland Arts Elementary, Mesa - Desert Garden - An Outdoor Educational Environment
- Jordan Center for Early Education, Chandler - Linking Home and School Math
- Kachina Elementary, Glendale - I Ride for Autism
- Landmark School, Glendale - STEM Robotics Engineering
- Magee Middle School, Tucson - HeartMath Project
- Manzanita Elementary, Phoenix - English Language Learning Program
- Maryvale Preparatory Academy, Phoenix - Diamondbacks On Base Reading Program
- Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff - I'm Lichen It
- Orangewood School, Phoenix - Orangewood Robo-Ball Project
- St. John Bosco Catholic School, Phoenix - Water and the Mysteries That It Holds
- West Sedona Elementary, Sedona - Letters Alive for ELL Students
- Xavier College Preparatory, Phoenix - Making and Robotics Program
- Zaharis Elementary - Mesa, Makerspace
The $100,000 School Challenge is part of the organization's overall charitable efforts and this year the team and its charitable arm, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, surpassed $45 million in combined donations since their inception in 1998.