The event was held at Memorial Stadium. 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 and team sportsmanship awards. Each team represented their middle school by wearing a School Pride Day t-shirt in their school colors. This event was made possible by support from Electronic Arts Inc., (EA SPORTS).
Fifteen students and three administrators were selected from each attending middle school. Throughout the 3rd quarter of the 2013 academic year, 8th grade students competed to participate on their school team at School Pride Day. In order for a student to be eligible and entered into the random drawing to participate, he or she must have met set criteria established by CMS, CNF and the Panthers. 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 2013. "Our partnership with the Cam Newton Foundation has helped middle school students learn more about the importance of education, health and fitness," said Ann B. Clark, CMS deputy superintendent. "We are proud of the students who worked hard to meet their goals."
School Pride Day is an extension of the CNF's School Pride program, which was formally launched in November 2012. At that time, the CNF announced a $150,000 donation to three partner middle schools for the 2012-2013 school year. Partner middle schools – Bradley Middle, Randolph Middle and Thomasboro Academy—each received funding in the amount of $50,000 each. Each partner school developed a customized program that enhanced the cultural environment at their school. This programming is ongoing and evaluation will take place in July 2013.
"In addition to our Foundation partner schools, I wanted to find a way to engage with all middle school students in CMS. Our partner school programs were developed back in November and are showing excellent progress. But, today is about having middle schoolers come out and show their school pride by competing against other schools. Not only do we have fitness-based games, but we also have academic games too. This is a unique experience for kids across the region 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.