DPS students, staff receive city’s Spirit of Detroit Award

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

Martin Luther King High School, its principal Dr. Deborah Jenkins, assistant principal Lawrence Fitz and student council president Cierro Gibson, along with Delores Smith-Jackson, president of the Detroit Public Schools Citywide School Community Organization and Minnie Pearce, a parent involvement consultant for DPS, recently received a Spirit of Detroit award from the Detroit City Council.

The award, which honors people, events or organizations for outstanding service to the city, was presented at the February 8, 2011, City Council meeting.

The group was recognized for their role in the Christmas Water Tree for Haiti Campaign, which collected 385 cases of water for residents of the country that is still reeling from a devastating January 2010 earthquake.

The King High students, under the leadership of Jenkins, Smith-Jackson and PTA member Cheryl Gibson, worked with Walking On Water, Detroit Job Corps, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Peace Corps and other groups as part of an effort to not only collect water for Haiti, but to raise awareness of the need for everyone to be prepared for natural disasters.

“I feel strongly that we need to get this information (about the need for disaster preparedness) out across the city,” Smith-Jackson said. “You never know when an emergency is going to affect you, and it was wonderful to see the pride and the glow in the students’ eyes as they were doing this.”

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