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04/16/2007 1:20 PM ET
Curtis Granderson teams with Detroit Public Schools for baseball-themed art, essay and music contest
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DETROIT -- Curtis Granderson, along with the Detroit Public Schools, the Detroit Tigers and the Grand Kids Foundation, is proud to announce Striving For Excellence, an art, essay and music contest for all schools K-12 within the Detroit Public Schools system. Students must be enrolled in a Detroit public school to participate.

The contest will be themed "Take Me Out To The Ballgame: What I Like About Baseball" and begins on April 16, ending on May 4. The contest is open to individual students and entire classrooms.

"I couldn't be more excited to have this opportunity to work with the Detroit Public Schools for this contest. It is one of the goals of the Grand Kids Foundation to help expand the opportunities for our youth through educational and creative initiatives, and I feel as though this contest will be a major step in accomplishing that goal," stated Granderson, the starting centerfielder for the Detroit Tigers.

"Detroit Public Schools is pleased to have a partnership with Curtis Granderson. His dedication to enriching the lives of our students is evident in his sponsorship of the ' Striving for Excellence' contest. We thank Curtis and the Detroit Tigers for offering this exciting opportunity and look forward to announcing the winners in mid-May," stated Detroit Public Schools Interim General Superintendent Lamont Satchel.

Participating schools will choose one winner in each of the three categories and submit them for the grand prizes, which will include tickets to select Detroit Tigers games and school visits by Granderson. The overall winner in the music contest will have their song serve as Granderson's walk-up music for his first at-bat of every Detroit home game during the month of June.

Winners of the grand prizes will be announced before May 16 in Granderson's blog on ESPN.com. Grand Kids Foundation organizers and Detroit Public Schools staff will select grand prize winners from all age groups and categories.

For the essay portion of the contest, elementary, middle school and high school students have been given specific topics to choose from that fit in with their curriculum.

Students or classrooms choosing to participate in the art contest may create a drawing, painting, sculpture, graphic design or collage relating to the theme.

Those participating in the music contest must write and compose a song about baseball. This portion of the contest is open to individuals, classrooms, school choirs and bands.

"Education is very important to me. Both of my parents are educators, and that has helped to lay the groundwork for the success I've been able to have at such an early age," Granderson added. "It is important to understand that everyone can excel in different skill areas in life. With this contest giving focus to not only the literary side of education, but also the creative and artistic sides of education, we feel as though we can help children to succeed in areas even they may not have thought they could have."

Granderson, a Lynwood, Ill., native, graduated from the Univ. of Illinois-Chicago in 2003 with a double major in Business Management and Business Marketing.

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