The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced 22 winning schools in the “D-backs $100,000 School Challenge,” presented by University of Phoenix. Among them is Weinberg Elementary School in Gilbert.
With more than 200 submissions from Arizona schools, the winning grants come from all around the state 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 140 schools with grants for an overall monetary commitment of more than $750,000 since the program launched in 2012.
Winning schools will use the grant money to satisfy an array of needs, ranging from a fitness trail to new musical instruments and a preserve greenhouse to a peer mentor character-building program. Weinberg Elementary’s Makey Makey project falls under the category of innovation and technology.
Each winning school will be honored and receive a check on the field at a 2017 D-backs game next April and May at Chase Field. The D-backs will donate more than 400 tickets for students, parents, teachers and staff from each school to attend the D-backs’ game in which their school will be honored.
Submissions from teachers and faculty came from 10 counties in the state and 40 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 $100,000 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 $49 million in combined donations since their inception in 1998.