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School Challenge


$150,000 D-backs School ChallengePHOENIX - 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:

SchoolProgram Name/PurposeLocationCategory
Agua Fria Union School District Observing Transformations Using Technology AvondaleInnovation/Technology
Alhambra ElementaryEngineering Adventures within InterventionPhoenixEducational Programs
Alpine Leadership AcademySTEM Expeditions on the Colorado PlateauFlagstaffInnovation/Technology
Cactus Shadows High SchoolProject Based Roller Coaster ProposalScottsdaleInnovation/Technology
Castle Dome Middle SchoolOperation Monkey BusinessYumaEducational Programs
Cotton Boll ElementaryDigital MicroscopesPeoriaInnovation/Technology
Desert MesaeBooks for StandardsYumaInnovation/Technology
Douglas High SchoolBulldogs are on FIREDouglasInnovation/Technology
Dreaming Summit ElementarySTEM Elective with Lego WeDo RoboticsLitchfield ParkInnovation/Technology
Eagle Ridge ElementaryThe Future Is NowPhoenixInnovation/Technology
Edge High SchoolMicro LendingTucsonEducational Programs
Eisenhower Center for InnovationComputational Thinking and Media ArtsMesaInnovation/Technology
Galveston ElementaryInnovative Learning with iPadsChandlerInnovation/Technology
Genesis AcademyWorkLink GIS ProgramPhoenixInnovation/Technology
Hynder Elementary Technology To YouDatelandEducational Programs
Metro Tech High SchoolSocrative Themes Using Chromebooks PhoenixInnovation/Technology
Mohave Accelerated ElementaryDiamondback Data Hits for SuccessBullhead CityInnovation/Technology
Northland Preparatory AcademyiBand Project FlagstaffInnovation/Technology
Polaris High SchoolCreative Alternative Pathways for Physical FitnessPhoenixNutrition/Fitness
Raymond S. Kellis High SchoolSports Marketing Campus ImprovementGlendaleSchool Improvements
Ruth Fisher ElementaryiPads for AutismTonopahInnovation/Technology
Salida del Sol ElementaryLeveled LibraryYumaEducational Programs
Sandpiper ElementaryFLITE - Spanish ImmersionScottsdaleInnovation/Technology
Sierra Verde ElementarySTEM Outdoor Desert Tortoise HabitatGlendaleEducational Programs
Simonton ElementarySensory Integration RoomSan Tan ValleySchool Improvements
South Mountain High SchoolReading Technology UpgradePhoenixInnovation/Technology
Trevor Browne High SchoolDo-It-Yourself WorkshopPhoenix Educational Programs
Tuscano ElementaryNutrition for Fuel and Body Balance Phoenix Nutrition/Fitness
Vista College Preparatory Books for Small Group Reading InstructionPhoenix Educational Programs
Willie and Coy Payne Junior HighReaders Batting One Thousand Queen CreekInnovation/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.