Experience the works of one of Detroit’s most promising young artists as the University of Michigan Detroit Center presents, “The Artistry of Joshua Johnson”

J. JohnsonThis inspiring exhibition runs from November 20, 2015 – January 9, 2016 in the Lester P. Monts Hall.

Born in Detroit, Joshua Johnson is a senior at the Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men, located in the historic Woodbridge neighborhood. Johnson began drawing at the age of six, and over time, discovered his true calling with the subject matter of the human figure.

Although Johnson specializes in pencil drawings, he has also explored several other medias as well. While he admires the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Diego Rivera, Johnson’s primary inspiration has been his mother, Jackie Johnson, who has supported and critiqued his work throughout his life.

Open to the general public, “The Artistry of Joshua Johnson,” also includes an opening reception on Tuesday, December 15 from 12-2 p.m.

Besides Johnson’s mother, special acknowledgements go to the Douglass Academy for Young Men, Principal Berry Greer, teacher Quan Neloms, and advisor Julie Taylor, Associate Professor, Department of Education, U-M Dearborn and Volunteer Coordinator of the History, Art, and Culture Program at the Douglass Academy.

Western International High School students helping their families this holiday season

Students will deliver 30 holiday food baskets to families in need for Thanksgiving

1. P1000341Western International High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets assembled 30 holiday food baskets for families of Western International High School students who do not have food for Thanksgiving. The baskets were delivered on Wednesday, November 25.

Principal Angel Garcia expresses that this act of kindness sets a strong humanitarian foundation for the students by allowing them to assist the surrounding community in a time of need.

“Often times, while we experience success, we forget to lend a hand to someone who has fallen on hard times, said Garcia. “Not only does it assist in spreading blessings to our less fortunate brothers and sisters but it also establishes the precedent for a lifetime of giving. We are infinitely grateful to Meijer for the opportunity to lift needy families up during the holidays. We also thank our team of staff members and our JROTC program for putting together and delivering the baskets.

The baskets were assembled by the cadets and the turkeys and pies were donated by Meijer of Chesterfield Township.

History is now in the making! Both King and Cass head to Ford Field, for the first time ever, to vie for the Division I and Division II Championship titles

This past Saturday’s MHSAA football semi-finals results saw our King Crusaders (13-0) defeat Livonia Franklin 40-6 in Division II while our Cass Technicians (11-2) defeated Plymouth Canton 48-41 in Division I. History is now in the making and the road to Ford Field is set for both teams!

Since the MHSAA football play-offs began in 1976, there has never been two PSL teams playing in the same season competing for two separate divisional state football championships. King High School, the 2007 Division II MHSAA Champions and first PSL team to win a state football championship will play Lowell (12-1) on Friday, November 27, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Ford Field. Cass Tech High School, the 2011 and 2012 Division I MHSAA Champions and first PSL team to win back-to-back state football championships will play Romeo (12-1) on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Ford Field.

Have an enjoyable and fulfilling Thanksgiving Day dinner, then come out to Ford Field on Friday and Saturday to cheer our Crusaders and Technicians on to their second and third MHSAA football championships respectively! Tickets: $10 (Per Day General Admission Only) Children and Adults. Cash Only. Children under two years of age do not require a ticket.

Detroit Public Schools Martin Luther King Jr. Sr. High School will be closed Monday, November 23, 2015 due to a water main break in the area.

Spend the evening at DSA

Detroit School of Arts will host a Spend the evening at DSA event on Tuesday, November 24, from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. The action-packed event will enlighten 8th grade students and parents on the school’s performing arts and academic departments with exciting performances by DSA students and a tour of the school.

For more information, contact Dr. Danielle Penson at Danielle.Penson@detroitk12.org or 313-494-6054.

RHS girls varsity volleyball team wins district championship

Renaissance High School’s girls varsity volleyball team defeated Berkley High School on Friday, November 6, winning the District Championship. Congratulations to Coaches Louis Mitchell and Earlander Taylor and all of the talented players for an outstanding job! Go Phoenix!

Detroit Public Schools’ Camp Burt Shurly receives $100,000 donation in honor of late Businessman and Philanthropist Joseph Handleman

Funds will support the continued modernization and improvement of the District’s 240-acre camp facility located in Gregory, MI. 

Camp Burt Shurly, Detroit Public Schools’ signature 240-acre camp located in Gregory, Michigan, has received a gift of $100,000 by the Mueller Family, trustees of the Joseph Handleman and the Nommontu Foundations. The donation is in honor of Joseph Handleman, a Detroit native, business man, philanthropist and long-time supporter of the Detroit community.

“Joe Handleman was born into extreme poverty but he became a leading pioneer in merchandising and marketing throughout the western world,” said Joyce Mueller, Josesph Handleman’s daughter. “Yet, my father was a humble, compassionate human being and he always said ‘money is a tool to do good.’ We are honored to support Camp Burt Shurly and the children of Detroit with this gift.”

The unrestricted gift will help support a variety of future improvements to the camp, including modernized bathhouse facilities, the addition of heating to four cabins, a new outdoor learning gazebo, a butterfly garden, a nature pond and more.

“Detroit Public Schools is thankful for the Mueller family, who see the critical role that outdoor experiences have in the instructional landscape we offer our students,” said Alycia Meriweather, Executive Director of the DPS Office of Science. “We are grateful for the improvements that their donation will allow us to make, many of which could not have been considered otherwise. They should know that the camper experience will be greatly enhanced because of their generosity!”

Camp Burt Shurly, which has been owned and operated by DPS for more than 50 years, provides an 8-week licensed residential summer camp for DPS Title I eligible students between the ages of 8-12, school groups, marching bands, athletic teams, mentor programs and weekend private groups. Amenities include lake frontage and beach, forests and walking trails, camp fire area, fishing pond, eight cabins and a main lodge.

“United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a long-time educational partner with DPS, provided the investment opportunity to the Mueller family because of their interest in giving children a greater number of alternative learning experiences aimed at enriching their lives and well-being,” said Denise Fleckenstein, Director of Gift Planning and Endowment, United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

The recent donation provided an early infusion of funds to the Camp Burt Shurly Capital Campaign that was announced earlier this year by the District and the DPS Foundation to raise $4.5 million to fund high-impact improvements to the camp such as zip lines, high and low rope courses, a tree house, a nature play area, a greenhouse and more.

Already this year, the District was able to purchase a climbing wall, water trampoline, books for cabin libraries and build a GaGa Pit as a result of funds raised.

Meriweather explained that there is extensive research regarding the positive impact of learning in outdoor spaces, and the important lessons that can be gained about the interconnectedness and value of life, and understanding our role in the world. “We are so excited for DPS students to take advantage of the exciting improvements at their camp.”

In 2014, Camp Burt Shurly welcomed roughly 110 students per week to the STEM-based camp grounds. This year, the total number of students served through the entire camp season was 1,527. Additionally, this contribution is a part of a larger effort to revitalize the camp and turn it into a full cross-curricular learning environment for all students to experience.

For more information about Camp Burt Shurly, contact the DPS Office of Science Education at 313-873-1488.


The Parade Company Brings Winning Student’s Design To Life During 24th Annual Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest

1 IMG_0173Talented eighth grade student Ayress Goss of Ludington Magnet Honors School in Detroit saw her artistic creation brought to life for the first time today at The Parade Company, when she was announced as the 24th Annual Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest winner, Wednesday, November 18.

Goss’s drawing entitled “Family Time” was transformed into a magical float, which features a giant tree with an oversized slide spiraling down its trunk into a pile of colorful autumn leaves. The float features an 80-foot wrap which incorporates the 2015 Honorable Mention winning designs along with other entry favorites. Goss will be joined by her family as she accompanies her float along the parade route during the 89th annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van.

The artists, their families, teachers and principals attended the unveiling. Five honorable mention winners were selected and invited to see their drawings on display. The students include: Charles Hickman Jr. (8th grade student, Bates Academy) for his work “Detroit Film City School,” Micah Sanders (6th grade student, Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies) for her work “The Park,” Jalvan McGowan (6th grade student, Henry Ford Academy for Creative Studies) for his work “The Zoo,” Summer Loren (8th grade student, Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School) for her work “Roselawn Public Library” and Reanna Patton (7th grade student, Bates Academy) for her work “Year Round Ice Rink.” Representatives from The Parade Company and the Skillman Foundation joined the students for this special occasion.

“I can’t think of a better way to display the artistic talent of Detroit students than to bring their vision to life in America’s Thanksgiving Parade,” said Tonya Allen, president & CEO of the Skillman Foundation. “Having a student-inspired float appear in the parade for the nation to see is a tremendous way to highlight our young talent.”

“The Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest is an opportunity for students to feature their art in a walking exhibit on Thanksgiving morning,” said Tony Michaels, president & CEO, The Parade Company. “We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with the Skillman Foundation, which has given so many the joy of seeing the students’ reactions when they watch their floats come to life.” 

The Skillman Foundation
Created in 1960, the Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy committed to improving meaningful graduation rates in the Detroit region, so kids are ready for college, career, and life. The Foundation has assets of nearly a half-billion dollars, with an annual grants budget of $17 million. The Foundation works to achieve its goal by investing in community leadership, neighborhoods, safety initiatives, high-quality schools, social innovation, and youth development. 

About The Parade Company
Founded in 1984, The Parade Company is a not-for-profit organization governed by the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation whose board of directors is comprised of key civic and corporate leaders in the greater Detroit region. The Parade Company is celebrating 89 years of Parade tradition in Detroit and is committed to funding, creating and executing the best family events in Michigan. The Parade Company staff, board of directors and thousands of parade volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of magnificent events to the City of Detroit and the region including the Ford Fireworks, Hob Nobble Gobble® presented by Ford Motor Company, Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot and America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van. Follow The Parade Company on Facebook and Twitter. 


Gompers Received a Special Visit from Woodhaven High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team

3Woodhaven High School (WHS) Varsity Girls Basketball Team hit the road to Samuel L. Gompers Elementary-Middle School on Saturday, November 14, to give a free basketball clinic to the students – also known as the Gompers Gators! Over 20 Gators came out for a day of basketball fun and learning.

Each of the WHS students were paired with a Gompers Gator and together they participated, coached and demonstrated various basketball drills and games.

Woodhaven Coach Doug Simons and his wife Cheryl, organized and directed the event. Each camper received a Gompers t-shirt and a free basketball.

Danialle Karmanos’ Work It Out bringing wellness and nutrition programming to Detroit schools

Work It Out celebrates 10 years of its research verified, yoga-based curriculum with an opportunity to witness a class in action

1In celebration of its 10th anniversary and longstanding relationship with Detroit Public Schools, Danialle Karmanos’ Work It Out (DKWIO) showcased one of its classes on Tuesday, November 17 at Charles Wright Academy of Arts and Science.

Work It Out, established in 2005, seeks to combat childhood obesity through the use of yoga and nutrition education. Students in elementary schools learn what it takes to keep their bodies healthy and happy.

This partnership was established by DKWIO Chief Executive Officer Tom Anderson and Executive Director Trish Dewald, both of whom were recently appointed to their Work It Out leadership roles. Detroit Public Schools’ Academic and Community Schools’ leaderships worked closely with Work It Out to identify schools with the highest need for the program.

By the end of 2015, Work It Out will have provided programming to nearly 5,000 students in Southeast Michigan. Each class session includes warm-up and breathing instruction, basic nutritional education and yoga. At the conclusion of the program, students receive their own yoga mat and a workbook that includes the learned poses as well as healthy recipes and tips for eating well on a budget. Students leave the program with an increased sense of confidence and accomplishment that is reinforced when they receive their completion certificate.

5“Work It Out is a program that brings tremendous value to both the students and the faculty,” shared Patty Stahl, PE Teacher at Wright Academy. “When the kids come back to class after their yoga practice, they have not only learned valuable skills about what to eat and how to exercise, but they are also focused and prepared to learn.”

The DPS partner schools include Bagley Elementary, Ronald Brown Academy, Mark Twain School for Scholars, Maybury Elementary, Neinas Dual Learning Academy, Vernor Elementary and Charles Wright Academy of Arts and Science.

“Healthy bodies help create healthy minds,” said Kimberly Davis, principal of Wright Academy. “We are so thankful to Work It Out for their partnership and hope others will follow their example in bringing unique programming like this to all Detroit Public Schools.”

Work It Out is growing and looking to reach as many children as possible with this program. To learn about how to support Work It Out, visit www.dkwio.org or contact Trish Dewald, at trish.dewald@dkwio.org.