United Way Network of Excellence
In 2010, the GM Foundation pledged $27.1 million to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to establish a “Network of Excellence” in the following seven Detroit-area high schools:
- Central High School (Detroit)
- East Detroit High School
- Hamtramck High School
- Harper Woods High School
- Henry Ford High School (Detroit)
- River Rouge High School
- Madison High School (Madison Heights)
The grant is infusing STEM into curricula and aims to improve graduation rates from roughly 50 percent to 80 percent over five years. The grant is also being used to advance early childhood education in metro Detroit and help ensure that 80 percent of children in the region start kindergarten ready to learn by sustaining 65 Early Learning Centers in 10 of Detroit’s most challenged neighborhoods that offer education and community support. The Early Literacy Hospital Strategy “Little Steps” program partners metro Detroit hospitals with new mothers to offer guidance on the benefits of starting a daily reading habit with their newborn children. New mothers can sign up to receive a book each month, as well as a DVD that shares tips on pre-literacy activities for children, newborns to age five.
Educational Achievement Authority (EAA)
The GM Foundation supports the EAA efforts to turn-around “Persistently Low Achieving” schools. These efforts include offering advanced professional development to the staff, and an empowered administration. At the heart of the EAA model, and what sets it apart, is a student-centered system of learning. Each child is afforded the means to progress as they master skills rather than clock seat time. A dynamic digital platform will integrate curriculum and personal metrics with new Common Core standards while accommodating different learning styles. The goal is for all students to graduate prepared for college and/or career. Through additional funding the EAA has made funding available for 16 pre-K classrooms, the GMF Early Learning classrooms, 14 of which are staffed and running to date. The goals for this program are that children will enter Kindergarten ready to learn.
Youth Math and Science Programs
GM and the GM Foundation provide sustained support for programs that reinforce math and science skills among metro Detroit schoolchildren like the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), EarthForce GREEN, MathCounts, Camp Invention, FIRST Robotics and the SAE Foundation’s A World in Motion (AWIM) initiative. In 2013, GM volunteers mentored nearly 12,000 students through the AWIM program and the GM Foundation and SAE Foundation announced the development of the next generation of K-3 primary programs which will address new science and mathematics standards. These will be available to students in 2016.
Reading & Rhythm on the Riverfront
Reading & Rhythm is a free summer reading program presented by the GM Foundation and hosted by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. This interactive, family-oriented program promotes literacy on the beautiful and re-energized Detroit Riverfront. Children who attend the program will enjoy celebrity readers, have snacks and receive a new book.
Music Education and Community Arts Programs
The GM Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Detroit’s cultural institutions – including the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Historical Society, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Opera House, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Aerospace Museum, Michigan Opera House, Michigan Science Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Mosaic Youth Theatre, Motown Historical Museum, and Music Hall – to promote music education and community arts programs for Detroit youth both in their schools and communities. GMF support extends into other communities as well such as the Smithsonian and Fernbank Museum of Natural History.