(left) Adam Pantozzi/NBAE

Kyle Kuzma

(right) Photo / Los Angeles Dodgers

Manny Machado

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) more than 600,000 students received recorded phone messages from such sports stars as six-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix and Los Angeles Rams star running back Todd Gurley this week encouraging them to stay in school and work hard throughout the school year.

“Parents, please make sure your children get to school on time and are ready to learn,” Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said in one of the messages, sent on the eve of the start of the school year that begin Tuesday, Aug. 14. “Kids, education is the key to a better life.”

Kuzma asked students to go to school every day, listen to their teachers, work hard and make good decisions.

Other athletes who recorded messages included Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille and Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado. 

The phone calls are a part of a larger effort by LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner to increase student attendance to increase student academic success.

“We know attendance matters as students who attend school regularly do better in school,” Beutner said. “Our LA sports heroes care about kids coming to school because our students are the future of our community. We all have a stake in helping students succeed.”