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Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School receives approval and will open on Monday, July 30

Memphis, June 4, 2012– The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that the Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School (Grizzlies Prep) has been approved by the Unified School Board and will open its doors on Monday, July 30. Grizzlies Prep is a new public middle school for boys, starting with 75 sixth graders this fall and adding a grade per year until it goes through eighth grade. It will operate in Downtown Memphis (168 Jefferson Avenue). This new charter school will prepare all students to excel academically and demonstrate integrity. Within a rigorous and disciplined middle school, students will become equipped for success in high school, college and life.

“In our 11 years here in Memphis, the Grizzlies franchise and the Grizzlies Foundation have remained committed to serving and supporting youth in Memphis,” said Greg Campbell, Grizzlies President of Business Operations. “Grizzlies Prep allows us to take a hands-on approach in this mission to prepare our students for their future in high school and beyond and continue to strengthen the community.”

The Grizzlies Foundation provides financial support to the public school and will be the liaison between the school and the team. After the original proposal was submitted to the Memphis City School Board in the Fall of 2011, the Grizzlies Prep Board and Founding Director, Elizabeth Simpson, learned of the approval on May 29, 2012. Simpson has been actively recruiting teachers and enrolling students ever since and has secured partnerships that provide critical resources and enhance the students’ experience.

“The board, faculty and partners of Grizzlies Prep are excited and humbled by the opportunity to bring a rigorous, college-preparatory education to families in Memphis,” explained Simpson. “We are privileged to have a skilled team, invested families, spacious building, many supporters and an exceptional game plan. Now the hard work starts and we couldn’t be more ready to begin.”

The school will focus on meeting the needs of young men and will provide an academically-rigorous, college-prep curriculum with a tremendous emphasis placed on integrity, excellence, perseverance, courage and commitment. Grizzlies Prep received one of the highest “scores” in the Charter School application process last fall.

Students’ success is paramount, and the Grizzlies will ensure the school has the tools and support to realize its mission. In addition to funding, the Grizzlies will facilitate partnerships and deliver resources and student experiences inclusive of a student mentoring program, special guest appearances and unique events. This effort builds on the team’s 11-year history of serving the Greater Memphis community and driving student achievement through youth mentoring and academic programs.