MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many Shelby County School families woke up Tuesday to a recorded phone call from Memphis Grizzlies player Tony Allen, and it was part of an effort to promote attendance in schools.
The call went out on the first day of Attendance Awareness Month.
“Hello, everyone. This is the ‘Grindfather,’ Tony Allen. Memphis Grizzlies,” the call began. “Being successful takes a lot of hard work and dedication and includes going to school everyday.”
“To encourage our parents and our students to represent everyday,” said SCS School Board Member Shante Avant.
She was behind a resolution to promote attendance in schools.
SCS is promoting a “Represent Everyday” campaign.
It’s an effort to up attendance in the district with incentives for kids who show up to class.
A lot of those incentives involve the Grizzlies, who partnered with SCS.
“It was a really fun way for us to see how many people are supporting,” Avant said.
According to SCS, 11,000 more kids are registered for school Tuesday than there were for the first day.
That mean about 92% of the district’s projected enrollment is registered.
The district hoped to see kids stay in their desks with the prospect of tickets to Grizz games or Grizz players visiting schools.
Parent Verlinda Davis got the robo-call after she dropped her kids at school.
“The only thing I heard was Grit ‘n Grind, go to school, get your education,” Davis said.
She said she planned to tell her kids the Grizzlies want them to stay in school.
Other parents did not go for the idea.
Many took to the SCS Facebook page to complain that the call woke them up early.
“I think, as parents, we can be inconvenienced just a little bit, you know, for the sake of our kids,” Avant said.