Comerica Bank Brings Anti-Bullying Theatre Tour to Detroit Public Schools
Grant will fund performances for 7,000 students at 18 schools
DETROIT/Dec. 9, 2013 – Comerica Bank has provided the Detroit Public Schools Foundation with a $10,000 grant to bring the Jewish Ensemble Theatre (JET) series of plays about bullying to 18 Detroit Public Schools, reaching more than 7,000 DPS students this school year.
The grant serves two needs for the Detroit Public Schools; an avenue to address bullying and a way to bring more arts into the schools.
“There has been a growing concern for the amount of bullying that takes place in schools, creating a priority of educating students about the nature of bullying and its consequences,” said Dr. Glenda Price, president of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. “We are very happy to partner with Jewish Ensemble Theatre and even more grateful that Comerica has brought this wonderful learning opportunity to our students this year.”
The JET tour features three plays, each targeting a different age group:
- I Was Just Kidding is designed for elementary students and chronicles three friends. One friend consistently insults the others and justifies them with an “I was just kidding” response… until she loses both of her friends.
- Mean Girls is for upper elementary and middle school girls showing the interactions of four middle school girls in a popular clique and addresses the issue of abusing another girl in order to gain or maintain status within the group.
- WORD is for middle and high school students and features four actors who tell the story of the results of an incident of bullying from three different perspectives: the bully, the victim and a witness.
As part of the program, teachers receive a teaching guide with discussion exercises for before and after the plays as well as questions for students to think about during the performance. A post-performance discussion also takes place following each show to engage students about what was presented and how it made them feel.
“We’re very proud to be able to provide this opportunity for Detroit Public Schools students,” said Janice Tessier, national manager of corporate contributions, Comerica Bank. “The Jewish Ensemble Theatre series is a great way to get the bullying discussion started in a manner that resonates with different age groups. While the performances are entertaining, they get students to recognize bullying as a problem and learn ways to prevent it in the future.”
The JET tour is the latest in a number of Detroit Public Schools initiatives Comerica has supported to improve the educational experience and creating learning opportunities for students. Programs include the launch of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation Transportation Fund supporting field trips to destinations such as the Detroit Zoo and the Fox Theatre and the sponsorship of the Innovations for Learning TutorMate program, which uses technology to connect DPS students in the classroom with Comerica tutors in their office. Comerica also sent a group of robotics and pre-college engineering students from the all-girls Detroit International Academy on a behind the scenes tour of the Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix.
For more information about Jewish Ensemble Theatre or to schedule a performance, contact Chris Bremer at email@example.com.
For more information about the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, visit the Foundation’s website at www.detroitpsfoundation.org.
About Comerica Bank
Comerica Bank, with 214 banking centers in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated. Founded in Detroit in 1849, Comerica continues to invest in Michigan. Comerica’s $17 million renovation of its building at 411 W. Lafayette in Detroit was completed last year and the renamed Comerica Bank Center is now the bank’s Michigan Market headquarters. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. To find us on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares. Follow us on Twitter at @ComericaCares.
Kathleen A. Pitton
Franco Public Relations Group
ANNOUNCEMENT: Carstens, Renaissance and Jerry L. White are closed today, Tuesday, December 10, 2013. ANNOUNCEMENT: The Osborn campus will have early dismissal today Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, due to a lack of heat.
DPS launches first-ever district-wide Parent Survey to take the pulse of 30,000-plus families as part of new Customer Service initiatives
Participating parents/guardians will be eligible to win one (1) of two (2) $200 shopping sprees at every school as part of a comprehensive year-round student retention program that kicks off this month
As part of Detroit Public Schools’ new and ongoing customer service initiatives, the district today will send an automated phone poll to more than 30,000 families seeking their feedback through a first-ever Parent Survey. The results will be used to inform the district’s ongoing Strategic Initiatives, as well as new retention and recruitment efforts.
In order to ensure the survey is completed by as many parents and guardians as possible, the district also created an online version and made available paper copies for Parent Teacher Conferences at all schools on Friday.
Parents and guardians who complete the survey by Wednesday, December 18, 2013 will be entered into a drawing for a $200 holiday shopping spree. At each school, two (2) shopping sprees worth $200 each will be provided just in time for holiday shopping, during special events December 18-20, 2013.
Participants may respond anonymously, but to be eligible for the shopping spree drawings, they must provide a name.
The survey asks questions regarding customer service, program offerings, school safety and more.
A comprehensive year-round student retention program kicks off this month with the survey, as well as a new initiative through which all DPS teachers will place personal appreciation phone calls to the parents/guardians of all students in their classrooms, a project endorsed by the Detroit Federation of Teachers. This week, “Thank You” PSAs will begin airing on various media and on different formats featuring DPS leaders and representatives of many job classifications. Also being implemented is a concerns resolution process.
DPS’ customer service initiatives are part of the district’s renewed commitment to support all families by providing the highest quality public education available, and supporting a regional workforce that will drive the city’s economic rebirth through a brand new transformative Strategic Plan developed by hundreds of community members.
The plan was developed after an intensive five-week strategic planning process involving parents, students, teachers, principals, staff, clergy, civic and community leaders and policy makers. That input, as well as the results from the survey, will be used to help Detroit Public Schools better understand how to improve its performance and customer service, broaden services, and provide desired programs, all within a safe learning environment.
Cody Academy of Public Leadership (Cody APL) students don’t think of one another as just students inside a school building. They think of themselves as a small neighborhood or a family. And they believe that tight-knit culture is part of what makes the school a success.
“Because we are put into small cohorts as we enter APL as freshmen, I have a very strong, close relationship with my classmates and my teachers,” student Torrianna Bradley said.
Cody APL, one of three small schools located at the Cody High School campus, is considered a small community school consisting of about 400 students where freshmen will travel through their entire high school career with the same classmates and teachers.
“The culture at Cody APL is pretty much like a family,” said senior Brandon Rutland. “We move together as a group, as a unit. We call the Cody Campus our city.”
Within that city, students and staff work collectively to ensure every student succeeds, starting with the way the curriculum in structured.
One of DPS’ nine Detroit Rising self-governing schools, Cody APL is a college preparatory school where students practice two-hour block scheduling and rotate classes according to days instead of hours. This method adjusts students’ mindsets to think and act as if they were attending a college or university.
“You don’t understand how ready I am for college!” Bradley expressed excitedly. Along with their college-like curriculum, Cody APL students attend frequent college tours and take part in dual enrollment to aid in college readiness.
Bradley, a driven 11th grader and the President of Cody APL’s Safety Ambassadors group, which consists of students who analyze the city and come up with strategies to make it better, said that she doesn’t believe she would have received as many real-world opportunities as she has had if she did not attend Cody APL.
“I got my first job in the summertime thanks to Principal Johnathon Matthews! He believes in putting us into situations and positions that we might see in the future in order to become a positive and productive leader,” Bradley said.
Most schools are defined by their name, Rutland explained, and attending an Academy of Public Leadership means that the school’s focus is not solely on academics, but the community and how the students associate themselves with the real world.
“Cody APL is mainly defined by what we do, we capture people’s attention,” Rutland confidently said. “APL students take pride in being a leader, being positive, being mature, and taking ownership and control of any situation so that we can get to where we want to be in our lives.”
Students dive into their community by volunteering with organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and work with companies including Deloitte and Ernst & Young, to learn first-hand what it takes to become a community leader.
“What does it take to be a leader? First, always be yourself, and always do what’s best for you. If you are really about professionalism and want to become a business man or woman when you get older APL is for you, and those are the results you will get from going here,” Rutland said.
Principal Matthews said a great leader has three core characteristics: grit, focus and purpose. He believes that these characteristics exist in every child, and it is the educator’s responsibility to bring them out.
“Our students are focused on developing themselves but even bigger than that, how they are going to serve their community as leaders. Students are taught to better themselves and also others around them,” said Matthews.
Cody APL students work closely with city officials and the Wayne State University Law School. In addition to career shadowing, students are able to contribute their ideas, plans and actions for their community.
“The students aren’t just protesting when they work with city officials, they create answers and policies, and are the active ones at the table for community initiatives,” Matthews added.
Dual enrollment, on-line learning, criminal justice, law and a mock trial program are a few of the offerings students have the opportunity to take part in on a daily basis.
Cody APL’s Mock Trial team has competed at the national level for the past two years and the school’s Michigan Youth and Government team won the best prosecutor award for the 2012-13 school year.
“We are unique in that we offer a curriculum that is really aimed at providing our young people the opportunity to create and initiate policy,” Matthews said.
Aside from APL’s academics, the school has an active chorus that performs throughout the state and has a partnership with the Detroit Arts League, which allows Cody APL students to attend Saturday classes at the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Center. At the center, the students can explore many different forms of art, dance and music and also get professional training.
“Students have a craving to express themselves. So knowing that, we work with outside partners such as the InsideOut Literary Arts Program where our students can participate in activities including poetry slams,” Matthews said.
Seamless Community Connections
Principal Matthews said when Cody APL was created, the goal was to “create a school that is bigger than itself, a school that is about its community.”
Students have built strong partnerships with surrounding organizations such as Don Bosco Hall, where students work at the center after school tutoring middle school students.
“We have approximately 100 students that work at Don Bosco Hall during the summer, and they work with other young people as mentors to the upcoming youth. We are starting to see that many of those same students that were being tutored are coming into APL as ninth-graders, so you will see that there is this seamless connection between Don Bosco Hall and Cody APL,” Matthews said.
Bradley recently received the Trail Blazer Award, which is granted to the most participating volunteer!
“Not your old Cody”
Ranking amongst the top 50 high schools in the state with 98 percent of its students going to college and listed as a promising school, according to Excellent Schools Detroit, this is not your old Cody. Principal Matthews explained that Cody APL is in the Cody/Rouge neighborhood for a reason, and that reason is to develop leaders that are prepared to become assertive members of the community. Cody APL is showing meaningful gains in all aspects from attendance to test scores to college acceptance; students are taking measurable steps forward to become leaders in the district and the community.
Something you didn’t know…
Cody APL students are published poets. Students work with the InsideOut Literary Arts Program to publish a book annually.
The 41st annual Noel Night will take place on Saturday, December 7, from 5-10 p.m. Midtown Detroit. More than 75 Midtown venues, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum and the Detroit Public Library, among many others, will open their doors to the public free of charge during this cultural holiday “open house.” DPS will have many choirs spotlighted and DPS catering services will be featured.
DPS Fine Arts 2013 Noel Night Performances
DSA Vision Male Ensemble
7:00 p.m. – Michigan State University Offices, 3408 Woodward Ave.
8:00 p.m. – Hannah House, 4750 Woodward Ave.
DSA Dance Department Noel Night
8:00 p.m. – Plymouth United Church, 600 E. Warren Ave.
Detroit Teachers Collective
5:15-5:45 p.m. – First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4605 Cass Ave.
Earhart Elementary-Middle School Chorale
6:00-6:30 p.m. – First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4605 Cass Ave.
Duke Ellington at Beckham Band, Chorale
6:45-7:15 p.m. – First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4605 Cass Ave.
East English Village Preparatory Academy Dance Department
7:45 p.m. – AME Bethel Church, 5050 St. Antoine St.
Cass Tech Dance Workshop
6:00 p.m. – Michigan State University Offices, 3408 Woodward Ave.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School Dance Department
6:30-7:30 p.m. – Detroit Historical Museum Auditorium, 5401 Woodward Ave.
DSA Achievers Ladies Ensemble
6:15-7:00 p.m. – Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St.
Spain Elementary-Middle School
5:00 p.m. – Plymouth Congregational Church, 600 E. Warren Ave.
Spain Concert Choir
6:15-6:45 p.m. – Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Multi-Purpose Room, 315 E Warren Ave.
7:30 p.m. – Bethel AME church, 5050 St. Antoine St.
Detroit Public Schools All City Marching Band
5:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Begin at West Willis Village end at WSU Barnes and Noble College Bookstore Plaza
The Breithaupt Career and Technical Center and SKILLS USA Community Service Team has made 13 decorative knotted fleece blankets that will be distributed to children at the Ronald McDonald House on December 10.
The SKILLS USA team chose to partner with Children’s Hospital to collaborate on this shared vision of addressing a community need. The project explored and assisted the students to understand their roles and responsibilities as citizens. Providing the blankets supported families in need and gave the team an attainable project that is valued. The participants that actively contributed to the project were Jazlyn Acosta, Olivia Choice, Tamara Colbert, Diamondnique Dixon, Donyielle Duckwyler, Diamond Ferguson, Ariel Garth, Erin Harden, Jemisah Ruffin and Julea Smith.
Submitted by: Maria Buison-Sullivan
Attention parents, juniors and seniors! Don’t miss Breithaupt’s College Night!
There will be colleges and universities on site with admissions applications and requirements, a financial aid seminar, and valuable college information for students and parents. This is your opportunity to ask as many questions as possible. The college night will follow Parent Teacher Conference meetings, which will be held 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. that day.
Students are asked to bring current copies of transcript and ACT scores.
WHEN and WHERE:
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday, December 6, 2013- College Night
Breithaupt Career and Technical Center, 9300 Hubbell, Detroit
UAW and Ford Roll Out Child Safety Program in Plant Communities Across the U.S.; 50,000 inkless fingerprinting kits earmarked for Detroit Public Schools
- UAW-Ford will give inkless fingerprinting kits to plant employees to keep an identification record of their children
- For every kit given to an employee, another kit will be donated to the local community by the National Child Identification Program
- At least 225,000 kits expected to be given to families, including 50,000 kits earmarked for Detroit Public Schools
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 2, 2013 – UAW-Ford is joining forces with the American Football Coaches Association’s (AFCA) National Child Identification Program to distribute inkless fingerprint ID kits to tens of thousands of families in communities across the country.
The kits, which are kept with the child’s family, provide an easy way for families to create a record of their children’s fingerprints and other identifying information for quick reference if ever needed by law enforcement. The kits will be offered, free of charge, to all UAW-Ford employees at participating plants and parts distribution centers.
For every kit purchased by UAW-Ford for plant employees, the National Child Identification Program will donate a kit. The matching kits will be distributed to families in the communities that are home to Ford manufacturing plants through local schools, churches and law enforcement. In addition, the National Child Identification Program will donate 50,000 kits to Detroit Public Schools.
“Safety is the No. 1 priority at Ford and it is also our responsibility to look out for the safety of our employees’ families, as well as our neighbors,” said Marty Mulloy, Ford vice president for labor affairs. “The ultimate goal of the National Child Identification Program is to provide an ID kit for every child in the United States, and we’re proud to partner with the UAW to help them achieve that goal.”
The Texas-based AFCA created the National Child Identification Program in 1997 with a goal of creating a fingerprint record of 20 million children. The popularity of the program has far exceeded expectations, with more than 32 million kits distributed nationally and internationally, making the National Child Identification Program the largest child identification effort ever conducted.
“Our hardworking members are an integral part of the cities and towns where they work, so we’re happy to give something back to the community, especially if it helps keep kids safe,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW-Ford vice president. “We understand the importance of giving back to the communities where we live and work – it is a part of our heritage.”
Ford’s Chicago Stamping Plant implemented the program independently at an employee event during the summer. It was so well received that the decision was made to roll it out across all UAW-Ford facilities.
“I want to thank the UAW and Ford Motor Company for their commitment in helping protect our nation’s children,” said Kenny Hansmire, executive director, National Child Identification Program. “From start to finish, this project took less than 90 days. Ford and UAW leadership said ‘this is the right thing to do,’ then they rolled up their sleeves and got it done. Because of that, many of our nation’s children will be safer today.”
All U.S. plants and parts distribution centers were approached, and all UAW-Ford facilities have signed up for the program. Participating facilities include assembly, stamping, powertrain operations and all parts distribution centers. Approximately 225,000 kits will be distributed, which includes the 50,000 kits to be donated to Detroit Public Schools.
“The safety and security of our students is a top priority at Detroit Public Schools and giving the parent or guardian of each and every DPS student the ability to have a record of their child’s fingerprints certainly enhances the public safety measure we already have in place in case of emergency situations,” said Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “We cannot thank UAW-Ford enough for its continued, strong partnership and for their commitment to the community.”
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 180,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.