FORT WORTH, TEXAS—Cowboys great Deion Sanders is getting ready to launch an aggressive advertising campaign for his new charter school. It's scheduled to open next fall.
Sanders' charter school was approved back in August. Since then, they've been busy developing curriculum and tying up loose ends with The TEA & UIL. But the locations have already been secured and we got a first look.
It's a church now, but come next fall Charity Community Church in Fort Worth's campus will be home to Prime Prep Academy.
"Education is everything. It`s not only a way up, it`s the way out'," said Prime Prep Academy Founder Deion Sanders.
The spaces inside will be converted to classrooms for K-5 students. The same will happen at a location in Dallas for grades 6-12.
Sanders says even plans to send his own children. "I am sending my own kids. Not only, my kids, your kids, they kids, your kids," he said.
Sanders and his partner D.L. Wallace are the visionaries behind Prime Prep. "I envision seeing kids excited, parents inspired," said Uplift Fort Worth Exec. Director D.L. Wallace.
Wallace says some 2000 students are already on a waiting list. "We expect it to get crazy and get really big, really fast," he said.
Sanders is known for his work with kids on the field through his Truth Sports programs. He says Prime Prep will have a unique focus on both athletics and academic excellence.
"If there is no academics, there is no athletics and our kids understand that as well as our parents," said Sanders.
Wallace estimates it will cost around $10 -million a year to run the school. "The State of Texas gives us enough money to put on a nice public school, but we want to give our kids the best experience, so we`re calling on the private sector to assist us in a lot of our endeavors," he said.
Exactly where Sanders and his star power comes in.
"We met with Direct TV, with Van Heusen, we met with Procter & Gamble, we met Under Armor, we met with the NFL on assisting us with in endeavors and they did a cartwheel," said Sanders.
Sanders says he'll be very hands on.
"I can`t not ask an employee to pick up trash, if I`m not willing to do so myself," he said. Helping kids get to graduation is a game he wants to win.
"The game is gone, but guess what, I`m still going strong," said Sanders.
Open enrollment for students across North Texas will be from March to May. Prime Prep will able to accommodate 750 students per campus. About 100 employees will be hired on beginning in January.