D-Backs $100,000 School Challenge

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that the “D-backs $100,000 School Challenge,” presented by the University of Phoenix, has already surpassed more than 200 entries from local area schools which are competing for $5,000 each. Applications can still be submitted at dbacks.com/schoolchallenge until April 15.

“We have been impressed and overwhelmed by the initial response to this program,” said D-backs’ President and CEO Derrick Hall. “Not only the volume of schools applying and the distances they span throughout the state, but the creativity of the applications will make it extremely difficult to select just 20 schools. It certainly confirms our belief that this money is needed now more than ever.”

The “D-backs $100,000 School Challenge,” presented by University of Phoenix was launched on February 29 and is open to all Arizona public, private, and nonprofit charter schools, Grades K-12. Up to $100,000 in grants will be awarded in one of four categories: educational programs, innovation and technology, nutrition and fitness and school/campus improvements.

The 200-plus applications have come from throughout Maricopa County as well as nearly every county in the state and towns as far-reaching as Clifton, Coolidge, Cottonwood, Holbrook, Lakeside, Mohave Valley, Pima, Prescott, Sierra Vista, Show Low, Tucson, Waddell, Willcox and Winslow, among others. The projects have ranged from playground improvement, science & math programs, art programs, afterschool programs and sports programs to new additions to the library, anti-bullying programs, multimedia and technology projects, a community garden and even a new lawn mower for one school’s baseball field.

The $100,000 School Challenge is part of the organization’s overall charitable efforts and next month, the team and its charitable arm, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, will surpass $30 million in combined donations since their inception in 1998, including more than $4 million in 2011.