The General Motors Foundation is sending 256 kids from Detroit’s most challenged areas to preschool, through a $500,000 grant to the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) of Michigan.
The EAA was established in 2011, taking over and turning around 15 consistently failing schools in the Detroit area. The GM Foundation’s funding has allowed the EAA to expand its reach into early childhood education and create 16 new classes throughout 6 different schools.
The “GM Foundation Early Learning” classes, consisting of 16 students each, are attended by one teacher and one paraprofessional. The students will attend class four days a week, with the fifth day reserved for at home visits and parent conferences. The classes will feature a student centered teaching approach with rooms infused with technology, helping to ready the kids for learning platforms in use beyond preschool.
According to United Way for Southeastern Michigan, 41,093 of the 51, 872 kids under the age of four in Detroit come from families in high need. Only 5.3 percent of the 22, 655 kids enrolled in school in Detroit went to preschool, and only 4.8 percent went to Kindergarten.
“Given these facts, it is imperative that we continue our work with the Education Achievement Authority, United Way and educators to do all we can to reverse this startling trend,” said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. “We are determined to reach students at their earliest years to be sure they have every opportunity to succeed in school, and in life.”