Silver & Black Give Back has awarded a total of $20,000 to four student-led groups that were named the 2017-18 Team Up Challenge MVPs. Last fall, 15 Team Up Challenge teams received a share of $200,000 to help start community service projects that addressed a specific need in their neighborhoods.

Adams Hill Elementary School, Advanced Learning Academy, Buckner Fanning School at Mission Springs, and Martin Elementary School received $5,000 each during a surprise announcement after presenting their projects to Spurs Sports & Entertainment staff. The winning teams were selected based on presentations made to the Team Up Challenge Review Committee, benchmark reports, and overall commitment to making a community impact over the course of the academic year.

2017-18 TEAM UP CHALLENGE MVPs:
Adams Hill Elementary School (NISD):
Students from Adams Hill Elementary School aimed to help children coping with trauma by packing and donating 500 Brave Bear Bags to the San Antonio Police Department and San Antonio Fire Department. Each bag contained a teddy bear, blanket, snacks, and an activity book that first responders can give to children after a stressful or traumatic event in hopes to bring ease, help, comfort and establish trust. With the $5,000, Adams Hill Elementary School will continue to help children across San Antonio, with the help of Stevens High School, the SAPD, SAFD, and the Northside Counseling Department.

Advanced Learning Academy (SAISD):
In an effort to ensure that homeless children and their families are given the same opportunities as everyone else, participating students from Advanced Learning Academy established an art program that helps them build long-lasting skills and allows them to express themselves in fun and meaningful ways. The third-grade students were given the opportunity to create, explore, build leadership skills, and connect with their community through visual arts. With the additional funds Advanced Learning Academy plans on continuing to address the accessibility of art for the disadvantaged population of the community.

Buckner Fanning School at Mission Springs:
Buckner Fanning School at Mission Springs strives to give back to the families of those who have sacrificed their lives for our country by bringing additional comforts to Fisher House residents, including welcome baskets, books and games for kids, and some pampering products. Fisher House is a "home away from home” for military families whose loved ones are receiving medical care. Students from Buckner Fanning School brought monthly meals to the residence, and provided hospitality by offering games and entertainment during the dinners. The students developed lifelong skills including budgeting, meal planning, marketing, decorating, coordinating volunteers and email correspondence while creating lasting relationships with the guests staying there. Some of the themed events students hosted include a Fiesta-themed dinner, a game night, and a Christmas dinner celebration. The school plans to use the additional funding to continue hosting monthly dinners for families at Fisher House.

Martin Elementary School (NISD):
Martin Elementary School’s project helped families in lower socioeconomic areas combat hunger and remain healthy by creating an Urban Farm Co-Op to teach sustainability practices and provide cheaper alternatives. Northside ISD schools offer free and reduced-price meals for qualifying students, but they often go home to an extremely limited food supply. With the collaborative efforts of Construction Careers High School and the San Antonio Food Bank, Martin Elementary School students have helped 25 families in need of food assistance by planting a vegetable garden and learning how to properly handle and care for chickens. The families were offered the opportunity to participate in the co-op and were provided farm-grown food monthly. The team will continue to provide food assistance to families in need, using the $5,000 from the Team Up Challenge MVP award.

The Team Up Challenge is a community involvement and character development program that teaches kids civic responsibility through hands-on learning and service within their communities. Through these hands-on programs, youth are empowered to change the world, starting right here in San Antonio. Kids identify a need and create a project to impact one of five areas: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness, or Uniformed Services. As a premier initiative of Silver & Black Give Back, Spurs, Rampage and San Antonio FC players have worked alongside the students to help bring their vision to life.