Wednesday, May 7, 2008
The school began with a 1.5 million dollar grant from the Grizzlies Foundation, which was established in 2004. Its premise is this: Teach subjects of Math, Science, English, and life skills. The Grizzlies provides uniforms for the students and tickets to home games as incentives.
Is the school making an impact? Among all Memphis city public schools, the Grizzlies Academy has one of the highest attendance rates. What about parent involvement? The school hosts open dinners twice a week for parents along with regular phone calls and flyers, and a progress report is sent home every six weeks.
The Grizzlies Foundation has been honored for its charitable efforts, most recently by the Sports Philanthropy Project and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the 2007 Steve Patterson Sports Philanthropy Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy. The main focus of the foundation is mentoring and this past January, NBA veteran Bill Russell helped them launch the Team Up Challenge, urging Memphis business leaders to become mentors. Their goal is to recruit 500 mentors by June 1st. Visit the foundation website here.
Photo: Joe Murphy/NBAE/GettyImages