David Ortiz to Make Wake-Up Calls to Boston Public Schools Students

Big Papi is teaming up with school official to fight chronic absenteeism.

David Ortiz

Photo via AP

If Big Papi tells you to get out of bed, you get out of bed.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent announced Monday it would team up with David Ortiz to combat chronic absenteeism, or missing at least ten percent of school days a year. Starting this September, BPS high school and middle school students will receive morning wake-up calls featuring the Red Sox slugger’s voice in the last weeks of his final season.

“We are pleased to be working with the Boston Public Schools in this small way to help tackle the important issue of chronic absenteeism,” Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said in a release. “We hope David’s morning wake-up call helps inspire, motivate, and encourage children throughout Boston to attend school, and serve as a reminder of the importance of education to our Boston-area children.”

The new approach is school officials’ answer to the White House’s public campaign to inform and empower parents about chronic absenteeism, which can prove devastating to a child’s education.

“It is our hope that by offering fun, outside-the-box tools such as this, we will reduce chronic absenteeism in our schools in a way that is enjoyable for our students,” Mayor Marty Walsh said. “I want to thank Big Papi and the Boston Red Sox for supporting this effort—we are fortunate to have a community of partners that are passionate and committed to seeing our students succeed.”

Families can opt-in for the service, which will provide automated wake-up calls in several languages. The idea was made possible by SmartMessenger, the broadcast service BPS uses to reach its community via text messages, emails, and phone calls.