Some 1,500 Detroit Public Schools vocalists, athletes and families with students demonstrating excellent attendance this school year were honored at Ford Field in downtown Detroit December 26 for the 16th annual Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
The game, featuring Central Michigan and Western Kentucky, was broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Bowl organizers provided 1,300 free seats for DPS to use as an attendance incentive and an opportunity for the district to underline one of its major goals for the 2012-13 school year student attendance.
DPS selected the 20 schools with the highest overall attendance, year-to-date, as of November 30, all of which had school-wide attendance greater than 92% and as high as 97%.
Each of those schools received a block of tickets to recognize students with the highest individual attendance or other attendance achievement, along with parents and guardians. Students and families sat in a special DPS area and many were in their schools’ colors.
Students with high attendance were invited from these schools: Bates, Bennett, Carson, Cass Tech, Chrysler, Clemente, Clippert, Davis Aerospace, Davison, Foreign Language Immersion, Garvey, Harms, Ludington Magnet, Maybury, Neinas, Priest, Renaissance, Robeson and Schulze.
This public recognition added to the other Detroit Public Schools salutes during for the game, including a 220 student voice All City Choir singing the National Anthem; an on-field recognition of the entire, historic two-time state Division 1 championship Cass Technical High School football team, their coaches, and principal; and a special video tribute to the unique and innovative new student tutoring program at East English Village Preparatory Academy/J.E. Clark Academy funded entirely by Lear Corp.
The National Anthem was sung by students from throughout Detroit Public Schools as part of the school district’s All-City Choir, under the direction of Mr. Willie McAllister.
The All-City Choir is composed of 220 vocal students and six vocal music teachers from six high schools as well as J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy. High school students attend Cass Tech, Cody, Detroit School of Arts, East English Village Preparatory Academy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Renaissance.
The groups worked independently with their vocal teacher on their assigned parts in the arrangement and came together for one dress rehearsal in final preparation to perform the Star Spangled Banner for the game.
DPS provides robust instrumental music, choral music, general music and visual arts instruction to help every student reach their full academic and creative potential. DPS music programs have been recognized and received awards from the Grammy Foundation GRAMMY Signature Schools Series, Tournament of Roses Parade “Coming Up Roses,” Rose Bowl Field Show Competition, and America’s Thanksgiving Parade.
The Technicians of Detroit Public Schools’ Cass Technical High School, their Coach Thomas Wilcher and his staff, and Principal Lisa Phillips had an on-field recognition during the first quarter.
The team, who last year stunned the same opponent 49-13 to become the first Detroit Public School League team to win the MHSAA Division 1 state football championship, beat the Shamrocks of Catholic Central again at Ford Field last month, this time by a score of 36-21, to capture the first back-to-back state championship in PSL football history.
Cass Tech’s state championship team will send more than a dozen of its student athletes to college on four-year scholarships.
A new video also was presented on the Field’s video boards telling the story of the 103 tutors who are actively engaged, trained, and tutoring middle school students at Clark Preparatory Academy four days each week.
The East English Village high school students are doing this through a unique partnership with Lear Corp, which has brought on retired teachers and principals to organize the program, provided necessary training when needed, supplied a new computer for every classroom teacher, 20 new computers, and a semi-truck load of office furniture, as well as the portfolios and pocket quality check cards each tutor receives.
Lear has also provided timekeeping clocks for fingerprint recognition, because these students are also receiving income for their tutoring, and have had financial literacy programs and bank accounts set up for them.