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D-backs continue to help sending funds to local teachers

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Owings (16) is congratulated by teammate Yasmany Tomas following his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers to tie a baseball game during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have long been known for giving back to the community, so it comes as no surprise that they have been involved with helping set up a statewide grant program for teachers.

As reported by Steve Gilbert of, since 2012 the franchise has partnered with the University of Phoenix for the D-backs School Challenge, which has provided $750,000 to classrooms.

“This program has been one of the most valuable that we have created as an organization, because we can see the direct impact that it has on students across the state of Arizona,” said D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall. “At this time of year, when we all take time to share what we are thankful for, it’s easy to be grateful for the amazing work of our teachers and administrators, and for the creativity they have shown in applying for these grants.”

The way it works is teachers submit an application that asks for — in a 500-word application — a detailed budget explaining how the money will be used.

According to Gilbert, the D-backs usually get between 200 and 300 applications a year, which are then split up for viewing among 25 evaluators at University of Phoenix and the D-backs.

The applications are scored on sustainability, impact, educational value and creativity. The top 50 are then discussed by a group of 10 people — half from the D-backs and half from University of Phoenix.

At that point, once it is decided which applications will receive a grant, the task of deciding who gets how much begins.

Character Counts is a registered trademark of the Josephson Institute.
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