|Pacers to sponsor IPS alternative school at Union Station|
INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Bart Peterson, Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Donnie Walsh and Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Duncan N.P. Pritchett, Jr. announced today that the Indiana Pacers would sponsor one of the new IPS alternative schools at Union Station.
The new “Pacers Academy” will be a “sports” academy for at-risk middle school students and will target students who have had problems with attendance, academic achievement and appropriate behaviors. Students will receive mentoring from community role models to develop values, leadership skills and motivation to continue their education.
“Our schools can be even more successful when parents, neighborhoods and businesses join together with educators to give our students a better and brighter start,” Mayor Peterson said. “Today, an outstanding Indianapolis corporate citizen, the Indiana Pacers, is once again suiting up and showing its commitment to the young people of our community.”
The Pacers Academy will be modeled after similar academies in Seattle (“The Seahawks Academy”) and San Francisco (“The 49ers Academy”). IPS will run the academy – along with an education resource center – with support from the Simon Youth Foundation.
“This is an ideal partnership for the Pacers to join in with the City of Indianapolis, IPS and the Simon Youth Foundation,” Walsh said. “The Pacers over the years have had a commitment to youth oriented issues. This partnership goes to the heart of that -- education .”
In August, the Mayor announced that the City of Indianapolis would give rent-free space in Union Station to the Indianapolis Public Schools to open two new alternative schools. In addition to the Pacers Academy, the Education Resource Center will provide a self-paced, self-directed learning environment for at-risk high school students. The students also will take part in internships at several downtown businesses and other service learning projects.
After regular school hours, the center may offer GED programs, “English as a Second Language” and computer technology classes. The Simon Youth Foundation has opened a similar school at Washington Square Mall in August in partnership with the Warren Township School District.
“The Indianapolis Public Schools greatly appreciates the support of the Pacers in sponsoring our alternative school,” Pritchett said. “We look forward to developing a mentoring component that will match our students with Pacers personnel. That one-on-one support would greatly assist our students in achieving academic success.”
The Simon Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1998 by the Simon family and Simon Property Group, the nation's largest mall owner and operator, which is headquartered in Indianapolis. Nationally, the Foundation is developing 30 other alternative schools.