The Cam Newton Foundation (CNF) launched its School Pride Program with a special presentation to Thomasboro Academy, Bradley and Randolph middle schools on Nov. 13. Randolph Middle hosted a pep rally to get students and staff from the three schools excited about the program and its initiative. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton also attended the event and challenged students to work hard, get a quality education and stay healthy.
Newton's foundation donated $150,000 to each of the three schools to support programs that will enhance student achievement, increase student engagement and advance health and fitness. The schools developed plans and identified areas that will support student, staff and parent needs.
“We are taking an active approach to making a difference in the lives of young people with the School Pride Program. As a kid, I remember school pride days being a big part of what made school fun and motivating. I felt a huge void when those days ended,” said Newton. “I believe students will perform better when they are proud of their schools, and ultimately, that helps our whole community.”
Bradley will use the money to improve technology supporting the school’s literacy program. The donation will also fund student incentives, expand the student-mentor program and provide teacher-appreciation activities.
"We are extremely honored and grateful to be chosen as a Cam Newton Foundation school," said Laura Rosenbach, principal at Bradley Middle. “Cam’s financial and personal commitment to CMS and Bradley will have an enormous impact on our school community. The events yesterday made our students realize that even their biggest heroes believe in the power of education and giving back.”
Jackie Menser, principal at Randolph Middle, said her school will use the funding to purchase an international communication lab for students to interact with students from French- and Spanish-speaking countries.
“We are incredibly grateful to have Cam Newton on the front line of our efforts to strengthen school pride and increase student success,” said Jackie Mense. He is an outstanding example of leadership on and off the field, bringing attention to the needs of children in our community and making it fun in the process.”
Thomasboro Academy will use the money to fund incentives for students who meet academic goals and reading and math tutors. The donation will also support leadership programs at the school, including college tours for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).
“There really are no words great enough to show the gratitude and appreciation for the support that Cam and his foundation have shown Thomasboro Academy,” said Jan McIver, principal at Thomasboro Academy. “I'm really excited about the support the funding will provide to our student leadership programs such as AVID and student council. This will ensure students have an opportunity to take an active role in their education as well as their future."
The foundation worked closely with CMS to identify three schools with diverse student populations and varying needs that would benefit from the program. The Foundation will monitor the progress of each school on a monthly basis and has hired an outside research firm to measure results.
Another component of the School Pride Program gives every eighth-grader in CMS who meets specific criteria an opportunity to enter a drawing for a chance to represent their school in Newton’s School Pride Day at the Carolina Panthers practice facility in the spring. Schools will receive more information early next year on how students can participate in early 2013.