GM Foundation Partners with Teach For America–Detroit
$50,000 grant will support initiative to advance early childhood education in Detroit
DETROIT – The General Motors Foundation is partnering with Teach For America– Detroit on a new initiative to advance early childhood education in Southeastern Michigan. Early educational experiences give children a foundation for success, helping to ensure that these young learners will reach their full potential.
Funded by a $50,000 grant from the GM Foundation, Teach For America’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Initiative aims to improve the school readiness of underserved children from birth to age five by building a robust pipeline of talented teachers. Funding from the GM Foundation will not only help to launch the ECE Initiative, but also develop educator training curriculum, onboard certified teachers and expand the organizations impact to pre-K classrooms in Detroit.
“Every child deserves the chance to succeed and receiving a quality education is the fundamental building block for a bright future,” said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard.“Through our partnership with Teach For America and the GM Foundation’s many education initiatives in Detroit, we’re aiming to improve those chances, from birth to college and beyond.”
Research shows children who have access to early educational experiences enter the K-12 system best positioned to succeed academically. Thus increasing early literacy and math skills among preschoolers growing up in poverty is vital to ensuring educational equity.
”Detroit’s students deserve to enter kindergarten classrooms with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful,” said Tiffany Williams, interim executive director of Teach For America–Detroit. “The support of the GM Foundation will allow us to build the necessary partnerships to thoughtfully focus resources toward addressing this urgent need in our city.”
Since 2010, Teach For America–Detroit has worked to address educational inequity byrecruiting and training emerging leaders from across the country to teach in local schools. This year, more than 300 corps members are working in K-12 classrooms throughout the city.
The GM Foundation places a critical emphasis on early childhood education and has invested in several Detroit initiatives. Through a $27.1 million grant to United Way for Southeastern Michigan, funds are being used to advance early childhood education in metro Detroit and to help ensure that 80 percent of children in the region start kindergarten ready to learn. The grant also helps sustain 65 Early Learning Centers in 10 of Detroit’s most challenged neighborhoods, offering education and community support.
Further, the GM Foundation helped to make a quality preschool education possible for 256 children in that same underserved area of Detroit through a $500,000 grant they presented to the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan last December. The funding created 16 “GM Foundation Early Learning Classrooms” in six Detroit elementary schools to help foster a student-centered approach to teaching and learning.
Teach For America plans to begin the ECE programming at various locations throughout Detroit starting in the 2015-2016 school year.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, 11,000 corps members are teaching in 48 urban and rural regions across the country while 32,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have ac