In 2010, the GM Foundation pledged $27.1 million to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) – the largest donation in its 35-year history – to establish a “Network of Excellence” in seven Detroit-area high schools.
The largest grant ever received by UWSEM, its aim is to improve graduation rates from roughly 50 percent to 80 percent over five years through smaller classrooms, personalized attention for students and a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and math curricula. The schools are:
- 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
In addition to the grant, the teamGM Cares volunteers participate in mentoring students, conducting career day activities and more.
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 more than 65 Early Learning Centers in 18 of Detroit’s most challenged neighborhoods that offer education and community support.
The Early Literacy Hospital Strategy program “Little Steps” 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, for newborns to age five.
Through these efforts, the GM Foundation and the United Way will help to prepare children for their future and students for tomorrow’s leadership roles.