Curtis Jones



The Curtis Jones Literacy Project

We know that literacy is the most important tool a child needs to be successful, both academically and in life. We know that inspiring children to read can be one of the biggest challenges that an urban educator faces.

We also know that many of your students are crazy about basketball.

With that in mind, MAPSA’s educational arm, Innovators in Education, has a gift for you – a unique, Detroit-specific program that uses basketball to stress the importance of literacy and getting an education. We’ve developed this program over the past year and are making it available to you totally free!

It’s called the Curtis Jones Literacy Project, and it’s built around the story of Curtis Jones, a playground legend from the 1960s and ‘70s who is considered the greatest basketball player ever to come out of Detroit. He had more basketball talent than anyone, but his dreams were destroyed and his future was ruined for one reason: Curtis Jones couldn’t read.

The Curtis Jones Literacy Project features a 25-minute documentary, a curriculum guide, and materials that can either be used as a one-week project (for English classes or other groups) or a one-day project (for your school’s basketball team, for example). We’ve included detailed curriculum guides and handouts for both projects.

The Curtis Jones Literacy Project has garnered a lot of statewide attention and is being highlighted in the media today, including this story in the Detroit News.
The documentary “Fouled Out” is a spellbinding look at Curtis’ life story, and features interviews with NBA legends Dave Bing, Spencer Haywood and Jalen Rose, all of whom played against Curtis or saw his greatness in person.

If your students are crazy about basketball, this is the perfect way to reach them.

Click below to download a copy of the movie and teaching curriculum.

Download a copy of the Curtis Jones Movie

View Student Testimonials of the Film