D-backs accepting submissions for $100,000 School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix

Program has already provided $650,000 to 133 Arizona schools in first three years of existence

The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation is now accepting applications for the $100,000 School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix, to benefit schools across the state of Arizona. The program is open to all Arizona public, private, and nonprofit charter schools, Grades K-12, and teachers and administrators are encouraged to "make their best pitch" on why they deserve to receive this important funding by submitting an application online at dbacks.com/schoolchallenge by Sept. 30.

"We are excited to once again offer the School Challenge program for the fifth year in a row," said D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall. "Along with our partners at University of Phoenix, the D-backs continue to be impressed with the innovative programs that schools around the state of Arizona have created. We are committed to helping launch new and inspired programs as well as assisting those that are in the greatest need of funding for even the most basic items. We are dedicated to ensuring that the schools in Arizona receive the resources that will make the biggest impact on our students and the community at large."

The D-backs kicked off the program in the spring of 2012 with the $100,000 School Challenge and received an overwhelming response that inspired the team to continue the program annually. With more than 2,800 applications over the past four seasons, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation has been able to help 133 schools for a grand total of $650,000 since the program began. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the University of Phoenix provide a combined $100,000 for the program. The grants, which range up to $5,000, have helped schools from across the state with innovative programs to satisfy an array of needs, from a STEM baseball robotics project to a desert garden and a new scoreboard to a special needs playground.

"University of Phoenix recognizes the financial challenges facing K-12 schools across America, and is proud to partner once again with the Arizona Diamondbacks to invest in deserving students and educators," said Timothy P. Slottow, president of University of Phoenix. "The School Challenge recognizes innovative programs and projects at schools across Arizona. We are thrilled to join with the Diamondbacks to celebrate these educators and the noble work they do each day to brighten the hearts and minds of our youth."

The School Challenge is part of the D-backs' overall charitable efforts and this year the team and its charitable arm, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, surpassed $45 million in combined donations since its inception in 1998, including more than $3.8 million in 2015.