GM Foundation: Press Release

GM Foundation’s ‘Summer in the D’ Activities Keep Kids Learning, Active and Engaged All Summer

Studies Show Engagement Prevents Summer Learning Loss in Students

DETROIT - GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard today announced “Summer in the D” - a unique set of events and programs supported by the Foundation designed to keep kids learning, active and engaged all summer. Pickard debuted Summer in the D at the re-opening of the newly renovated Lasky Recreation Center made possible by a grant from the GM Foundation.

The importance of summer learning is critical. For U.S. students who are not academically engaged over the summer, a RAND Corporation report found that the average summer learning loss in math and reading amounts to one month per year. Low-income students are disproportionately affected, losing two months of reading skills, while students from higher-income families often gained.

“We are committed to making Detroit, a city that our employees and their families proudly call home, an even greater place to work, learn and grow,” said Pickard. “Over the past decade, the Foundation has provided more than $100 million to fund various organizations across metro-Detroit, and this summer we want to help ensure that the city’s underserved youth are engaged in science, reading, performing arts, recreation center activities and more.”

As part of its Summer in the D, the GM Foundation is supporting:

  • Lasky Recreation Center - Detroit (Re-opened on June 20): The center, a great place for youth and families to be active, play and learn all year long, offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities for kids up to age 18, including crafts, basketball, boxing, disc and mini-golfing and more. Lasky was renovated by a generous grant from the GM Foundation. For more information call (313) 628-2030.
  • Reading & Rhythm on the Riverfront (July 12 – August 17): A summer literacy program presented by the General Motors Foundation in partnership with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. This interactive, family-oriented program is designed to promote literacy throughout Southeastern Michigan and engage children ages 3 to 10, and their families, in the re-energized Detroit Riverfront. Program highlights include free books, local celebrity readers, live interactive family friendly entertainment, arts & crafts, free rides on the Cullen Family Carousel and more. For more information visit
  • Virgil Carr Center Arts League Summer Arts Academy (July 19 – August 6): The Summer Arts Academy (SAA) is a nine-week intensive program designed to provide challenging educational and training experiences in the fine and performing arts for up to 150 urban youth. SAA is designed to nurture the talents of emerging young and adolescent artists across multiple disciplines: Visual arts, dance, theater and jazz music. For more information visit
  • Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (June – August): The mission of DAPCEP is to increase the number of historically underrepresented students who are motivated and prepared academically to pursue degrees leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math- related fields through K-12 supplemental educational programming. DAPCEP achieves results by offering intensive and highly motivational programming. To date, DAPCEP has impacted the lives of more than 150,000 metro Detroit youth. For more information visit
  • Metro Detroit Youth Day (July 11): The Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation hosts 35,000 youngsters to a day of games, entertainment, sports clinics and more. Workshops educate kids on anti-bullying, anti-obesity, fighting crime in schools and entrepreneurship. Youth are also educated on how to handle peer pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, and how to become better citizen. For more information visit
  • GM Foundation’s ‘Camp Infinity’ (July 16 – 20): The Michigan Council of Women in Technology, in partnership with the GM Foundation, offers a one-week summer technology camp for 9- to 13-year-old girls. The camp addresses the reasons girls lose interest in technology: confidence, social relevance, and social (peer) acceptance. Confidence and capability are built with hands on technology activities, including robotics and computer game design. Coolness and fun are demonstrated by completing projects with other girls, and with high school girls who are counselors during the camp. Social relevance is demonstrated with visitors from the local technology community showing and explaining how their work is important to the community. For more information visit

In addition to these programs, the GM Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Detroit’s cultural institutions, including the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Music Hall, Detroit Opera Theater and Detroit Institute of Arts. These institutions have much in store for Michigan residents this summer. For more information on the GM Foundation’s community investments, visit

About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit

Maria Mainville
GM Foundation & Corporate Reputation Communications