NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A program at Nashville’s Wright Middle School finds itself pitted against an urban Montessori magnet school in Indiana in a unique competition surrounding the Tennessee Titans game versus the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, Nov. 14.
A program submitted by Jennifer Dillingham of Wright Middle School has been chosen to represent the Titans in the weekly NFL PLAY 60 DonorsChoose.org Showdown. The showdown is in conjunction with Thursday Night Football and was launched in 2012 through a partnership between the NFL and DonorsChoose.org.
For every NFL Thursday night game shown on the NFL Network throughout the season, a DonorsChoose.org proposal from each of the participating teams’ host cities is selected for a voting process. Voting for the Week 11 showdown between the Colts and the Titans begins Saturday, Nov. 9 and goes through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14. The proposal with the most votes will receive full funding up to $1,000 from NFL PLAY 60, and the proposal that finishes second will receive half funding up to $500.
Dillingham, now in her fifth year as a math teacher and sixth overall at Wright, submitted a wish list that on the surface would appear to be from a physical education teacher. What items appear on her list of needed supplies? Jump ropes, footballs, soccer balls and basketballs.
“I was involved in athletics through my church and also did cheerleading and color guard at Kirby High School in Memphis,” said Dillingham. “A lot of our students here at Wright are very high energy and our P.E. department’s equipment isn’t up to par for what we’d like. PE is a great outlet for the students to burn off a lot of that extra energy so that when they come to my class, they are more focused on their core subject.”
Nashville’s Kirkpatrick Elementary School defeated a school from Pittsburgh last season in the inaugural year of this program!
“It’s great for our students to be the focus of this program,” added Dillingham. “I know about the NFL’s PLAY 60 program and this seems to fall in line with that initiative! Our PE teachers had no idea I was submitting this and they will be thrilled to know about it. One of our PE teachers (Judy Philpot) sent out an email informing us of the program but she didn’t know I was submitting one in hopes of getting her better PE equipment!”
“Being physically healthy and active empowers the students to be academically in tuned and learn what they need to in order to have the energy to sustain them for the entire day,” said Larry Baskin, Assistant Principal. “The ability to be active is a big part of their day and makes them better students.”
“I had the opportunity to visit Ms. Dillingham’s classroom and also met Larry Baskin and learned about their student body, and know that Wright Middle will be a great Titans representative in this NFL Showdown,” said Bob Hyde, Titans VP-Community Relations. “Wright Middle features a wide range of international students who speak 27 different languages. We want to encourage everyone to cast their vote often as rules of the ‘Showdown’ allow votes to be cast hourly, giving us the chance to show our support for the Wright program many times over between Saturday and next Thursday’s deadline!”
Click here to cast your vote! Please remember to vote often!
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post requests, and individuals can give directly to the ones that inspire them. To date, 240,000 public and charter school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure $121 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn.