D-backs announce 30 winning schools in $150,000 School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix - AZEdNews
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D-backs announce 30 winning schools in $150,000 School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix

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The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced today the 30 winning schools in the “D-backs $150,000 School Challenge,” presented by University of Phoenix. With more than 800 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. The program, which launched last Spring, was replicated last Fall as well due to the overwhelming need in the Arizona community. In 2012, the D-backs and University of Phoenix donated $250,000 to 51 school across the state of Arizona.

“Once again the Arizona community has shown a great need for funding in our schools and we are proud to partner with University of Phoenix to make an impact on our community and education systems,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We are excited to see the outcome of how the money is used to help improve the future of Arizona.”

Winning schools will use the grant money to satisfy an array of needs, ranging from a tortoise habitat to a sports marketing program, a do-it-yourself workshop to a sensory integration room and a SMART board for Spanish language immersion students to a sewing machine to teach life skills and create special sock monkeys for victims of child abuse. Each winning school will be honored and receive a check on the field at a 2014 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.

“Today’s educators are faced with challenges both in the classroom and out, and providing additional educational resources helps local teachers further bridge the learning gap,” said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. “University of Phoenix is excited to work with the Diamondbacks to provide local educators access to education resources to enhance the learning experience for the community’s future leaders.”

Submissions from teachers and faculty came from all 15 counties in the state and 88 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:

School Program Name/Purpose Location Category
Agua Fria Union School District Observing Transformations Using Technology Avondale Innovation/Technology
Alhambra Elementary Engineering Adventures within Intervention Phoenix Educational Programs
Alpine Leadership Academy STEM Expeditions on the Colorado Plateau Flagstaff Innovation/Technology
Cactus Shadows High School Project Based Roller Coaster Proposal Scottsdale Innovation/Technology
Castle Dome Middle School Operation Monkey Business Yuma Educational Programs
Cotton Boll Elementary Digital Microscopes Peoria Innovation/Technology
Desert Mesa eBooks for Standards Yuma Innovation/Technology
Douglas High School Bulldogs are on FIRE Douglas Innovation/Technology
Dreaming Summit Elementary STEM Elective with Lego WeDo Robotics Litchfield Park Innovation/Technology
Eagle Ridge Elementary The Future Is Now Phoenix Innovation/Technology
Edge High School Micro Lending Tucson Educational Programs
Eisenhower Center for Innovation Computational Thinking and Media Arts Mesa Innovation/Technology
Galveston Elementary Innovative Learning with iPads Chandler Innovation/Technology
Genesis Academy WorkLink GIS Program Phoenix Innovation/Technology
Hynder Elementary Technology To You Dateland Educational Programs
Metro Tech High School Socrative Themes Using Chromebooks Phoenix Innovation/Technology
Mohave Accelerated Elementary Diamondback Data Hits for Success Bullhead City Innovation/Technology
Northland Preparatory Academy iBand Project Flagstaff Innovation/Technology
Polaris High School Creative Alternative Pathways for Physical Fitness Phoenix Nutrition/Fitness
Raymond S. Kellis High School Sports Marketing Campus Improvement Glendale School Improvements
Ruth Fisher Elementary iPads for Autism Tonopah Innovation/Technology
Salida del Sol Elementary Leveled Library Yuma Educational Programs
Sandpiper Elementary FLITE – Spanish Immersion Scottsdale Innovation/Technology
Sierra Verde Elementary STEM Outdoor Desert Tortoise Habitat Glendale Educational Programs
Simonton Elementary Sensory Integration Room San Tan Valley School Improvements
South Mountain High School Reading Technology Upgrade Phoenix Innovation/Technology
Trevor Browne High School Do-It-Yourself Workshop Phoenix Educational Programs
Tuscano Elementary Nutrition for Fuel and Body Balance Phoenix Nutrition/Fitness
Vista College Preparatory Books for Small Group Reading Instruction Phoenix Educational Programs
Willie and Coy Payne Junior High Readers Batting One Thousand Queen Creek Innovation/Technology

Each of the schools that did not receive a grant will be personally contacted by a D-backs representative and encouraged to reapply when the D-backs and University of Phoenix kick off the fourth round of the program next fall.

The $150,000 School Challenge is part of the organization’s overall charitable efforts and earlier this year, the team and its charitable arm, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, surpassed $33 million in combined donations since their inception in 1998.