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Sonoran Trails MS among D-backs grants winners

Staff Report~ 12/10/2014

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation has announced 30 winning schools in the “D-backs $150,000 School Challenge,” presented by University of Phoenix. With more than 400 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 100 schools with $5,000 grants for an overall monetary commitment of more than $500,000 since the program launched in 2012.

Sonoran Trails Middle School in the Cave Creek Unified School District was one of the winning schools and received a grant for vocabulary enhancement.

“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 and CEO Derrick Hall. “Each year the schools get more and more creative with their requests and it was particularly exciting this year to see how the schools will use the money from innovative educational programs to making necessary school improvements.”

Winning schools will use the grant money to satisfy an array of needs, ranging from a STEM drone project to a student reporting lab, a desert pollinator garden to a dual language kid caster program and a band mentorship with special needs students. Each winning school will be honored and receive a check on the field at a 2015 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.

“University of Phoenix is dedicated to meeting educational needs in Phoenix and across Arizona, and the projects funded by the School Challenge grants will do just that,” said Tim Slottow, president of University of Phoenix. “We are excited to once again team up with the D-backs organization to help Arizona teachers inspire students by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to become tomorrow’s successful workforce.”

Submissions from teachers and faculty came from 11 counties in the state and 47 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 $150,000 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 $40 million in combined donations since their inception in 1998.