April 25, 2014 – For the second consecutive year, over 720 students and administrators from 40 Charlotte-Mecklenburg middle schools attended the Cam Newton Foundation School Pride Day. The event was held at Memorial Stadium in Uptown Charlotte. School teams rotated through ten recreation and academic-themed stations, such as running relays, obstacle courses, quizzes, hula hoops, puzzles and tug of war. Each school team had a pre-planned rotation schedule for the day, and a points system was used to calculate each school’s points. At the end of the event, first, second and third place awards were given, along with team spirit award. Each team represented their middle school by wearing a School Pride Day t-shirt in their school colors. Over 75 volunteers from PwC’s Carolinas office attended the event and helped create content for one of the stations.
Fifteen students and three administrators were selected from each attending middle school. Throughout a six week period during the 3rdquarter of the 2014 academic year, 8th grade students competed to participate on their school team at School Pride Day. In order for a student to be eligible, he or she must have met set criteria established by the CNF and CMS. Criteria included satisfactory report card grades, attendance records, behavior, as well as teacher recommendations. Students also had to write a letter to Cam Newton explaining why he or she should be chosen to represent their school at the event. Criteria was consistent across all schools. Principals and administrators used School Pride Day as an incentive for the 3rd quarter and starting the new school year in 2014.
School Pride Day is an extension of the CNF’s School Pride program, which was formally launched in November 2012. From the program’s inception, the CNF has donated more than $225,000 to six CMS partner middle schools. The total CNF contribution to CMS schools is over $300,000.
CNF partner middle schools include the following: 2013/2014 – Berryhill School, Collinswood Language Academy and Reid Park Academy; 2012/2013 – Bradley Middle, Randolph Middle and Thomasboro Academy. Each partner school received a financial donation ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 and developed a customized program that enhanced the cultural environment at their school. This programming is on going and evaluation will take place in July 2014.
“In addition to our Foundation partner schools, I wanted to find a way to engage with all middle school students in CMS. Today is about having middle schoolers come out and show their school pride by competing against other schools. It’s a day of friendly competition. This is a unique experience for kids in CMS to enjoy the day and share their school spirit with each other,” said Newton. “As a middle schooler, I remember how much fun it was to compete and represent your school – on and off the field.”
School Pride Day is part of the CNF’s “Every 1 Learns” and “Every 1 Plays” initiatives. The event supports the CNF’s mission of enhancing the lives of youth by addressing their social, physical, educational and emotional needs. Newton is continuing to bring his hands-on approach to volunteerism at local schools.