Tuesday, 10 December 2019 08:57

Grizzlies, Delta Dental Join the Truancy Fight

Grizzlies, Delta Dental Join the Truancy Fight Photo by Joe Murphy
Dec. 10, 2019 – The Memphis Grizzlies will host a pep rally today at Magnolia Elementary to announce a new incentive-based program to help combat truancy and keep kids in school, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
The rally at 3 o’clock this afternoon at the school at 2061 Livewell Circle will include Grizzlies entertainment, DJ music, a teacher dance-off, Grizz swag, mascots and more.
The program rePRESENT Every Day will be sponsored by Delta Dental of Tennessee and administered by the case advocates from the District Attorney’s Every DAy in School truancy-reduction mentoring program which includes 30 schools.
The new Grizz program will start with five of those schools, including Magnolia Elementary, Dunbar Elementary, Gardenview Elementary, Levi Elementary and Raleigh Bartlett Meadows. Organizers hope the pilot program eventually can expand to include more schools.
The rePRESENT Every Day program will divide the remaining part of the school year into four reporting periods. When a child is referred to the DA’s case advocate for truancy, the advocate will monitor the child’s progress and those who have no additional unexcused absences will receive an incentive.
Incentives may include tickets to Grizzly games, swag bags, player autographs and other rewards. The at-risk students will be eligible to receive an incentive during following reporting periods as well to reward them for showing signs of improvement in their attendance.
More than 30,000 Shelby County Schools students are considered truant each year, with five or more unexcused absences. The truancy rate is far less for the schools that participate in the DA’s mentoring program which began 13 years ago as a three-school pilot project. Students with perfect attendance receive a free bicycle and helmet at the end of each school year.