We did it! DPS pre-k students join PNC to raise vocabulary awareness and set new Guinness World Records® mark

- More than 4,000 children take part in world’s largest vocabulary lesson -

DETROIT, Oct. 30, 2014 – Holding tiger masks and seated on colorful reading rugs, prekindergarten students from Detroit Public Schools learned words and listened to their teachers read as they helped set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the largest vocabulary lesson.

The 250 DPS children were among more than 4,000 children in 37 cities across 15 states and the District of Columbia who participated in the simultaneous lesson. The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC) hosted the event in support of Grow Up Great, its $350 million, multi-year bilingual initiative in early childhood education. The new record was set with the initial 1,031 participants documented by the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS organization. The total is expected to increase as GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS organization officials receive video and written documentation from the various locations.

“Young children learn best when they take part in engaging, fun activities,” said Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics for Detroit Public Schools.  “At DPS, we embrace, support and provide high-quality early childhood education because know a great foundation in early learning is the foundation for academic success. We appreciate PNC’s ongoing support of our district and today’s event, which helped reinforce the teaching of new words and added to the excitement we in DPS are building for vocabulary in our pre-kindergarten classrooms.”

Vocabulary development is a priority as PNC Grow Up Great celebrates 10 years of helping children – especially at-risk children – prepare for kindergarten. The Fred Rogers Company and Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC), PNC’s partners in early education, developed the lesson with words selected from “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild,” a picture book by Caldecott Honoree Peter Brown (published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), about a civilized tiger who, bored with his prim and proper lifestyle, runs away to the jungle to discover what makes him happy. The highly acclaimed picture book celebrates individuality and received five-star reviews.

“Pursuit of this world record is a great way to bring attention to a serious issue – the importance of vocabulary for a child’s success in school and life,” said Ric DeVore, PNC regional president for Detroit and Southeast Michigan. “A landmark study found that some at-risk children hear 30 million fewer words by age 4 than a child from a more well-to-do household.”

Today’s event is one of PNC’s initiatives to encourage parents and caregivers to talk and read to their children as a means to build vocabulary and help them gain the skills they need to succeed in school.

To foster the home to school connection, each participating child took home the book and “Words are Here, There, and Everywhere,” a new, English/Spanish multimedia kit created by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame StreetTM, as part of an ongoing partnership with PNC. The educational kit builds on young children’s natural sense of curiosity to grow their vocabulary around math concepts, science, and the arts. All bilingual materials are available for free at PNC Bank branches, pncgrowupgreat.com, and sesamestreet.org/words. Additional materials are available online, including an educator’s guide and a vocabulary tree.

The vocabulary lesson will be posted to an online Lesson Center which features practical, developmentally appropriate activities for pre-K teachers.  Many of the lessons on the pncgrowupgreat.com site were developed by a consortium of science and cultural centers that collaborated over the past four years to enhance science and arts education for young children served by PNC’s early education programs.

The success of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® attempt was made possible in part through the volunteering efforts by employees of EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, who served both as observers and stewards tracking student participation in approximately 20 locations. In addition, hundreds of PNC Bank employees worked with teachers and students to help present the event as part of a progressive policy that permits up to 40 hours a year of paid time off for volunteerism.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the United States’ largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

2014 PSL All-City football team carries on a talented tradition

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Last weekend’s Michigan State-Michigan football game looked like a “Who’s Who in Detroit Public School League recent history” as former PSL standouts were everywhere for the Spartans and Wolverines.

MSU’s Tony Lippett (Crockett) — the best receiver on the field; Lawrence Thomas (Renaissance) and Ed Davis (Southeastern) — impact players for the Spartans’ top-ranked defense; Dennis Norfleet (King) — U-M’s main running threat; Cass Tech’s Jourdan Lewis, Delano Hill and Royce Jenkins-Stone — played major minutes for the Wolverines’ defense.

Each year, the PSL produces some of the nation’s top college prospects — and the 2014 PSL All-City football team continues that tradition!


2014 PSL All-City football team: (Pictured from left, front) Central’s Lamon Moore, Renaissance’s Napoleon McCants, Ford’s Keilone Wilson-Jackson, Denby’s Adonte Calhoun, Renaissance’s Kyle Lewis, DCP-Northwestern’s Danny Whitt Jr. and John Dozier, East English Village’s Lindrell Mitchell, Kamahl March and Armani Posey, (back, from left) Mumford’s Willie Jones and Nevarrio Davis, Cass Tech’s Keith Jones and Michael Oliver, Renaissance’s Mark Wilson, Cass Tech’s John Alabi and Mike Weber. Not pictured: King’s Tyriq Thompson, Kyonta Stallworth, Donnie Corley and Mikale Washington; Cody’s Javonte Ball and Brian Taylor; Western’s Romello Ross; Pershing’s Nyassinu Crowell Jr.; Denby’s Malik Whitehead; Osborn’s Shayshone Bonner; CMA’s Sean Smith, Douglass’ James Moore; Southeastern’s Seville

This year’s 30-player team includes 21 seniors, seven juniors and two sophomores and is representative of the PSL’s wealth of football talent as selected by the league’s head coaches and the DPS Office of Athletics. The number of All-City selections for each team is based on its place in the PSL final standings: first and second (4); third and fourth (3); fifth-eighth (2); ninth-16th (1). The honorees:

Cass Tech — running back Mike Weber, lineman Josh Alabi, linebacker Keith Jones, linebacker Michael Oliver
King — linebacker-tight end Tyriq Thompson, lineman Kyonta Stallworth, wide receiver Donnie Corley, quarterback Mikale Washington
East English Village — defensive end-linebacker Kamahl March, wide receiver Lindrell Mitchell, quarterback-wide receiver Armani Posey
Renaissance — quarterback Kyle Lewis, linebacker Napoleon McCants, wide receiver-defensive back Mark Wilson
Cody — running back Jayvonte Ball, offensive tackle Brian Taylor
Mumford — wide receiver-defensive back Nevarrio Davis, linebacker Willie Jones
Denby – wide receiver-defensive back Malik Whitehead, running back-linebacker Adonte Calhoun
DCP-Northwestern  — athlete John Dozier, quarterback Danny Whitt Jr.
Central – defensive end-wide receiver Lamon Moore
Western – running back Romello Ross
Pershing – running back-strong safety Nyassinu Crowell Jr.
Osborn – wide receiver Shayshone Bonner
Ford – linebacker-defensive tackle-offensive guard Keilone Wilson-Jackson
Douglass – defensive back James Moore
CMA – linebacker-running back Sean Smith
Southeastern — wide receiver-defensive back Seville Amos

Weber, a 5-10, 205-pound senior, is a U.S. Army All-American and is verbally committed to Michigan. He’s one of the fastest and strongest running backs in Cass Tech history and showed out in the PSL championship game at Ford Field with 11 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns, and another 68-yard TD on a screen pass. That pushed him past the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third consecutive season. He has scored 19 TDs on the year.

Alabi, who is verbally committed to Ohio State, is the main force paving the way for the Technicians’ running game. The 6-5, 275-pound senior is noted for his discipline and blocking until the whistle blows.

Jones, described as one of the most physical players to play for Cass, is a 6-0, 240-pound senior who had 28 tackles with five quarterback sacks.|

Oliver, a 5-11, 220-pound senior, was a mainstay for the Cass Tech defense. A student of the game, he had 89 tackles, two fumble recoveries and two sacks.

Thompson, a 6-1, 220-pound senior, is ranked the state’s top class of 2015 linebacker and is one of just three repeat PSL All-City players from last year. He will graduate in January and enroll early at Michigan State. A two-year team captain for King, Thompson has been chosen to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game on Jan. 4, 2015, in Carson, Calif. He owns a 4.4 grade point average.

Stallworth, who transferred from South Lake High to King, is also verbally committed to Michigan State. The 6-4, 265-pound senior is ranked among the state’s top offensive linemen and anchors the front on both sides of the ball for the Crusaders.

Corley, a transfer from Wyandotte Roosevelt, emerged this season as one of the PSL’s top talents. The 6-2, 165-pound junior has received multiple Division 1 college offers, including Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, LSU, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Wake Forest, Pitt, Arizona State, among others. He’s being recruited as a sure-handed wide receiver and has been equally adept as a standout defensive back for the Crusaders.

Washington, a 6-4, 180-pound junior, has made a big impact in his first season at King after moving to Detroit from San Diego. A pro-style quarterback, Washington pulls the trigger for a pass-reliant Crusaders’ offense and is drawing a lot of major college interest.

March, a 6-3, 210-pound senior, is a three-year starter at tight end and defensive end and has college offers from Bowling Green, Southern Illinois, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Ball State and Morgan State. He entered the Bulldogs’ last game of the regular season with 89 tackles, including 16 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.

Mitchell, a 5-9, 170-pound junior, had 33 catches for 477 yards and six touchdowns through eight games.

Posey, a 6-0, 200-pound junior, was a dual threat QB, completing 19 of 33 passes for 277 yards and three TDs while rushing 16 times for 177 yards and four touchdowns. As a linebacker, he had 77 tackles, including nine for losses.

Lewis, a 5-11, 185-pound senior, led Renaissance’s offense. He had 86 carries for 529 rushing yards and threw for 825 yards and 11 touchdowns.

McCants, a 5-11, 190-pound senior, is a repeat All-City selection. He had 70 tackles with one sack and 13 tackles for loss.

Wilson, a 6-0, 185-pound junior, had 41 tackles, four for loss, and one interception. Offensively, he had 19 catches for 502 yards and nine TDs.

Ball, a 5-9, 175-pound junior, led Cody’s offense with 114 carries for 1,029 yards and nine touchdowns.

Taylor, a 6-5, 387-pound senior, was the Comets’ top lineman on both sides of the ball. His agility and speed defies his huge physical presence.

Davis, a 6-2, 185-pound senior, had 25 catches for 384 yards and six touchdowns for the Mustangs. Defensively, he had 30 tackles, six pass deflections and one interception return for a TD.

Jones, a 6-0, 200-pound senior, had a team-leading 56 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and one interception return for a touchdown.

Whitehead, a 6-1, 185-pound senior, had 45 catches for 754 yards and 10 touchdowns for Denby’s offense. He led the defense with five interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, and returned two kicks for TDs and one punt for a score.

Calhoun, a 5-9, 205-pound sophomore, ran 120 times for 1,247 yards and seven touchdowns and had 20 catches for 212 yards. Defensively for the Tars, he had 45 tackles, including five tackles for loss and three sacks.

Dozier, a 6-1, 180-pound senior, had 41 pass receptions for 675 yards and eight touchdowns. He also was an impact defender for DCP-Northwestern with 57 tackles, six interceptions and one TD.

Whitt, a 6-0, 160-pound junior, completed 90 of 169 pass attempts for 1,254 yards and 13 TDs. He ran 22 times for 215 yards and three TDs.

Moore, a 6-3, 212-pound senior, is a four-year starter for Central. He had 18 catches for 596 yards and six touchdowns as a wide receiver. On defense, he had 49 tackles, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 11 sacks and one interception returned for a touchdown.

Ross, a 5-10, 190-pound senior, was chosen to his fourth consecutive PSL All-City team. The Central Michigan-verbal commit had 164 carries for 1,310 yards and 17 touchdowns and two receiving TDs entering Western’s final regular season game. He also returned a kick for touchdown and had three pass interceptions, one returned for a TD.

Crowell, one of the two sophomores on this year’s All-City team, rushed for 1,300 yards and averaged eight tackles a game for the Doughboys.

Bonner, a 6-2, 180-pound senior, had 600 yards and eight touchdowns receiving and 250 yards rushing. He’s described as “the heart” of Osborn’s team.

Wilson-Jackson, a 5-8, 225-pound senior and two-year team captain, had 63 tackles, 28 for lost yardage, 33 solos and 16 QB sacks. He forced four fumbles and recovered two. The Trojans ran 80 percent of their offense behind him.

Moore, a 5-10, 167-pound senior, was in on 74 tackles with two sacks and four interceptions. Offensively, he caught five passes for 112 yards and one touchdown. The Hurricane player is a student at Benjamin Carson Academy.

Smith, a 5-10, 180-pound senior, rushed for 350 yards and recorded 69 tackles for CMA’s first-year varsity team.

Amos, a 5-10, 165-pound senior, ran for four touchdowns, threw for another and, defensively, had two interceptions.




Chrysler Elementary Goes Pink

To showcase their enthusiasm and spirit to spread awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness month, the staff and students at Chrysler Elementary School went pink on Wednesday, October 29! From pink dyed hair to pink attire everyone at Chrysler was inspired to show their support.

Cass Tech. sophomore excels at Illinois Fencing Tournament

The Renaissance Fencing Club is pleased to announce that Mycah Slade, a sophomore at Cass Tech High, took 3rd place in the Cadet Women’s Foil event at the prestigious Remenyik Fencing Tournament this past weekend in Chicago, Illinois.  Not only did she medal in the event, but she also earned her D14 rating.

Mycah, who started fencing six years ago, is thrilled.

“The hard work and practice I have been putting in over the years really paid off at this event,” she said. “I’m excited to finally have earned my D14 rating, and look forward to being able to fence in higher ranked events.”

Her coach, Anatolie Senic, is very proud of his student.

“Mycah is one of the most promising young women on our team,” he said. “I’m sure that this is just the first step toward her realizing full potential.”

About the Renaissance Fencing Club

Renaissance Fencing Club is located at 408 Oliver Street in Troy. Please call 248-930-0747 or email stanna.stoner@gmail.com with any questions. The Renaissance Fencing Club has provided basic and advanced instruction in the sport of fencing for over 15 years. We offer youth and adult classes, as well as private lessons. Our instructors include collegiate coaches, World Cup fencers and National Level fencers. Evening and weekend classes are available.

Detroit City Council members visit Ronald Brown Academy

Detroit City Council members André Spivey and James Tate, Jr. visited Ronald Brown Academy on Monday, October 27 to encourage and greet students as they arrived to school. The school visit is a part of the Detroit City Council Task Force on Black Male Engagement (TFBME).

TFBME was created in early 2014 and aims to create a positive foundation to provide leadership and mentoring. The taskforce addresses needs such as cultural awareness, community service, character building, educational advancement, family responsibility and financial literacy.


Clark’s 2nd Annual “Breast Cancer Walk”

J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy hosted its 2nd Annual “Breast Cancer Walk” on Friday, October 24. A short program was held in the school’s auditorium followed by the walk and balloon release.

Throughout the month of October, Clark teachers discussed with students the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness and the ways it has affected many individuals world-wide. Students learned about facts and information daily and created poems and pictures in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

‘College Decision Day’ event allows seniors to apply to universities and gain acceptance letters in one day

College Decision DayDetroit Public Schools’ high school seniors are invited to attend Decision Day 2015, an exclusive college admissions event created for high school seniors in the city of Detroit that will allow students to drop off application material for local universities and receive a decision on their acceptance in a matter of hours.

The event will feature representatives from nearly 20 universities from across the state to meet with students and their families. Application material and acceptance letters will be distributed all within one day. Students are encouraged to register early for the event by Tuesday, October 28 to ensure participating colleges and universities have their information on file.

However, no student will be turned away during Decision Day. Students can register by visiting: https://admissions.msu.edu/decision2015.asp. Download the Decision Day Flyer for more details.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
8:30-10 a.m.: Application Drop-Off
2-3:30 p.m.: Decision Pick-Up

Renaissance High School, 6565 W. Outer Drive, Detroit

Decision Day 2015 Timeline:
7:45 a.m. — Students will begin lining up to enter the building.
8:30 a.m. — Students and their families will meet with university representatives to complete application material.
2:00-3:30 p.m. — Students receive decision letters.

Participating Universities:
Bowling Green State University
Central Michigan University
Davenport University
Eastern Michigan University
Ferris State University
Grand Valley State University
Harris-Stowe State University
Lake Superior State University
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
Northern Michigan University
Oakland University
Saginaw Valley State University
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
University of Michigan Dearborn
University of Michigan Flint
Wayne State University
Western Michigan University

Detroit Public Schools’ 2014 graduating class scored $138 million in scholarships and grants. Dr. Barbara K. Smith, Director of the Office of Guidance & Counseling, said she’s confident this year’s graduating class will top these numbers thanks to the resources DPS has provided to students.

For more details, visit: https://admissions.msu.edu/decision2015.asp

PSL advances seven teams into MHSAA football playoffs

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Seven of the Detroit Public School League’s 16 football teams have qualified for the 2014 Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs, which begin this weekend.

Cass Tech (9-0), fresh off a 39-7 victory against King in the PSL championship game Friday at Ford Field, will open its bid for the Division 1 state title Saturday at 1 p.m. against visiting Warren Mott (5-4).

In Division 2, King (8-1) hosts Southfield (6-3) Friday at 6 p.m., and East English Village (6-3) visits Port Huron (7-2) Saturday at 1 p.m.

In Division 3, Mumford (6-3) hosts Redford Thurston (6-3) Saturday at 2 p.m., and Renaissance (6-3) visits Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (7-2) Saturday at 1 p.m.

In Division 4, Denby (5-4) hosts Detroit Country (5-4) Saturday at 1 p.m.

In Division 5, Central (6-3) visits Marine City (9-0) Friday at 7 p.m.

Detroit Public School League opening-round games in the MHSAA football playoffs:

(PSL TEAMS IN ALL CAPS): Division 1 — Warren Mott (5-4) at CASS TECH (9-0), Saturday 1 p.m. Division 2 — Southfield (6-3) at KING (8-1), Friday, 6 p.m.; EAST ENGLISH VILLAGE (6-3) at Port Huron (7-2), Saturday 1 p.m. Division 3 — Redford Thurston (6-3) at MUMFORD, Saturday 2 p.m.; RENAISSANCE (6-3) at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (7-2), Saturday 1 p.m. Division 4 — Detroit Country Day (5-4) at DENBY (5-4), Saturday 1 p.m. Division 5 — CENTRAL (6-3) at Marine City (9-0), Friday 7 p.m.

Cass has a blast! Technicians roll to 39-7 victory against King for second consecutive PSL football title

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Cass Tech senior running back Mike Weber turned the 2014 Detroit Public School League football championship game into his personal showcase last Friday in leading the Technicians to a 39-7 victory against King.

A Ford Field league-record championship game crowd of 8,000 saw Coach Thomas Wilcher’s Technicians win their second consecutive PSL championship and remain unbeaten with a 9-0 record entering this weekend’s state playoffs.

DSC_0986In just three quarters, Weber ran the ball 11 times for 178 yards and three touchdowns and added another TD on a 76-yard screen pass with a one-handed catch and spin that was fit for ESPN’s top 10 plays of the week.

“King’s a real aggressive team on the defensive side and they blitz a lot,” said Weber. “We wanted to get them on their heels, get a screen, get them on the inside and go outside. It worked out a lot. I give all the credit to my offensive line and coach.”

The only miscue by Weber was a halfback pass he attempted that was intercepted by junior Donnie Corley.

Corley’s 12-yard TD reception from junior quarterback Mikale Washington with 8:10 left in the third quarter was King’s only score.

By then, the Technicians had the game firmly in hand. Sophomore quarterback Rodney Hall completed five of 10 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, including an 82-yard scoring strike to fellow sophomore Donovan Peoples-Jones that gave CT a 33-7 lead late in the third quarter.

Peoples-Jones also had an 18-yard touchdown reception from Hall in the first quarter.

King, which sustained its first loss of the season, had no answer for Weber’s spectacular play.

“Weber has changed from a fast back into a powerful back,” said King Coach Dale Harvel. “Give Cass credit. They controlled the line of scrimmage. In high school football things like this happen. You throw this one out and get ready for the playoffs.”


Cass Tech’s PSL girls’ volleyball title streak still alive at five

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Defending champion Cass Tech played from behind during most of its Detroit Public School League girls’ volleyball title match Thursday against its biggest rival Renaissance.

In the end, an enthusiastic crowd at Western International High School saw the Lady Technicians tie the match and win a decisive fifth set to claim their fifth consecutive PSL championship with a thrilling 25-27, 25-16, 17-25, 25-21, 15-11 victory.

Cass Tech 2014 PSL girls' volleyball champions

Cass Tech 2014 PSL girls’ volleyball champions

“I really think it came down to us wanting it more,’’ said Cass Tech coach Ramona Cox, who admittedly felt the pressure of trying to keep her team’s title reign intact in her first year as varsity head coach.

“A lot of people counted us out with us having lost a lot of our senior experience from last year and this being my first year as coach. I felt like I had something to prove and so did my team.”

Coach Louis Mitchell’s Lady Phoenix won the first set and took a 2-1 lead into the fourth set, but they couldn’t maintain the momentum and was saddled with their fifth consecutive league runner-up finish.

“Give Cass credit,’’ Mitchell said. “They played tough and they played more consistent than we did.” In the consolation game, host Western defeated King in three sets 25-11, 25-16, 25-18.

Between games, the 2014 PSL All-City girls’ volleyball team was introduced. They are: Cass Tech senior middle blocker Monette Daniels, junior outside hitter Richelle Hawkins, junior setter Nicole White and senior middle blocker Miah Godbolt; Renaissance senior middle blocker Jessica Radford, senior setter Arielle Sears, senior middle blocker Lydia Doty-Faulk and senior libero Alexis Gaines; King senior outside hitter Kierra Acuff, sophomore setter Joslyn Smith and senior middle hitter Isis Elcock; Western hitter Melissa Gonzalez, senior middle hitter Alexandra Resendez and middle hitter Alaya Vasquez; DIA senior hitter Destiny Wynn-Berry and junior hitter Nia Graves; CMA’s Asia Robinson and Mekayla Bargaineer; East English Village sophomore setter Kalin Stennis and sophomore passer Randi Gassaway; Northwestern junior outside hitter Alexa Armstrong and senior hitter-setter Icesis Chandler-Poole; Osborn sophomore Alayh Love; Denby senior libero Shardae Steele; Cody senior middle blocker India Cross; and Pershing’s Moneyka Murray.