International Paper is investing $1 million in a University of Memphis teacher training collaboration, the university announced earlier this week.

The $1 million commitment from the Memphis-based paper maker will help the urban education-focused River City Partnership, an umbrella initiative of the university, Shelby County Schools and the Achievement School District, in its goal of preparing and retaining teachers.

“International Paper is proud to partner with the University of Memphis in support of the River City Partnership,” said Dr. Alissa Campbell Shaw, International Paper Foundation executive director, in a statement. “We believe this initiative meets a critical need for Memphis by ensuring a steady pipeline of well-prepared, culturally competent teachers.”

Aspects of the River City Partnership include recruiting teachers from the area, forming urban education-focused curricula and providing teacher candidates with hands-on experience primarily in high-need, high-poverty schools.

In a news release, University of Memphis President M. David Rudd and College of Education Dean Kandi Hill-Clarke praised International Paper’s generosity and touted the importance of readying the next generation of teachers through the River City Partnership.

The Commercial Appeal reported in March that the university was looking to raise $7.5 million for the collaboration. Trustee David North and his company, Sedgwick, buoyed that effort with a $1 million donation early on.

More information about the River City Partnership is available at the University of Memphis website.

International Paper produces industrial packaging, paper and pulp, and the company employs roughly 52,000 people around the world.

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Max Garland covers FedEx, logistics and health care for The Commercial Appeal. Reach him at max.garland@commercialappeal.com or 901-529-2651 and on Twitter @MaxGarlandTypes.

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