The Arizona Diamondbacks announced recently that they are now accepting applications for the $150,000 School Challenge, presented by the University of Phoenix, to benefit schools across the state.

The program is open to all Arizona public, private and nonprofit charter schools, grades kindergarten-12, and teachers and administrators are encouraged to “make their best pitch” on why they deserve to receive the funding by submitting an application online at by Sept. 30.

The D-backs kicked off the program in the spring of 2012 with the $100,000 School Challenge and received an overwhelming response that inspired the team to also host a $150,000 Back-To-School Challenge later that same year.

With more than 2,100 applications over the past two seasons, the D-backs have granted $5,000 to 81 schools for a total of $400,000 since the program began.

The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the University of Phoenix provide a combined $150,000 for the program. The $5,000 grants have helped schools from across the state with needs such as educational supplies, books, updated computer programs, mobile computer labs and school improvements.

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