Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Recognizing the tremendous needs of area Veterans, Detroit VA Healthcare System staff will roll out outreach events and summits to assist Veterans with everything from housing to financial repair to legal issues and health care.
“We are here each and every day for our Veterans, so we are able to see what they need and how we can work with our community partners to assist them,” said Dr. Pamela Reeves, Medical Center Director. “This summer, we are focusing our attention on certain areas where we feel we can help as many Veterans as possible. All they must do is show up for these free events and we have staff that’s able to place them in particular programs.”
The following events are just a few planned for the busy summer:
Disabled Veteran Open House, June 11, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Detroit VA Healthcare System, Room B1290: The focus for this event is the disabled Veteran community, many of whom cannot easily access services and care.
“We must educate the disabled Veteran community on what is available to them both here in our medical center and also in the community,” said Dr. Reeves. “Also, this is our chance to recognize many of our community partners who assist us every day in meeting the needs of our Veterans.”
This event will take place both indoors and outdoors, with tables and booths set up that will feature organizations such as the VFW, DAV, in-house services including Human Resources, Prosthetics, Registration and Veterans Benefits Administration.
Staff from various departments within the organization and community agencies will be on hand to help guide the Veteran and answer his/her questions.
Veterans Legal Fair, June 17, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Detroit VA Healthcare System: Sponsored by The Legal Aid and Defender Association and the Detroit VA, this is a free program for all Veterans. Featured workshops will include expungement of criminal records, Social Security claims and child support issues. Will Gunn, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will speak at 10:00 a.m.
“We have seen great success with our Veterans Justice Outreach program in recent months,” said Dr. Reeves. “We are realizing that many of the issues our Veterans face don’t only involve health care and it’s our responsibility to help provide them with the resources to not only learn more about these legal issues, but assist them in tackling what can be a difficult system.”
Also on-hand will be U.S. Congressmen John Conyers Jr. and Gary Peters along with area judges and their staffs. The fair is funded by a grant from Quicken Loans with additional support from various agencies.
Veterans Resource Fair, June 26, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Detroit VA Healthcare System, Room B1290: This is a program sponsored by the Vet 2 Vet program and the medical center’s Veterans Consumer Council.
“This is more or less a resource fair organized by Veterans for Veterans,” said Dr. Bella Schanzer, Associate Chief of Staff, Mental Health. “No one knows what Veterans needs are, better than Veterans themselves, so we looked to these organizations within the medical center for insight on what resources to bring in.”
Veterans will be able to learn more about everything from health care to education, employment and help for homelessness. There will be assistance on-site, to help Veterans navigate the processes for many of the resources available to them in the community.
All Veterans of all eras are welcome to attend each of the programs.
Since 1939, the Detroit VAMC has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. In 1996, the medical center moved from Allen Park, Michigan to the current location in Detroit. The John D. Dingell VAMC located in Detroit, Michigan is one of the newest VA facilities in the country. We consider it our privilege to serve the health care needs of our Veterans. Services are available to more than 330,000 Veterans living in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and St. Clair counties. This population represents approximately forty-four percent of the Veteran population in the lower peninsula of Michigan. For more information, visit http://www.detroit.va.gov
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 16:31
Category: Community - Original Written by Amber Bogins
The Metro Coalition of Congregations (MCC) and Michigan Abolitionist Project (MAP) are co-hosting a Human Trafficking Awareness and Advocacy Event on Monday June 10, 2013 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois, Troy, MI 48083.
The free event will give the community resources to join with abolitionists across the state in ending human trafficking. The meeting will also outline concrete steps towards action at the local and state levels.
The evening will feature a panel of experts, including: State Sen. Judy Emmons (R-33); Brad Riley, iEmpathize, Founder and President; Kathy Maitland, MAP, SE Michigan Director; Lt. Wendy Reyes, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office; Dr. Bonita Laudeman, Light Ministries. There will also be a short video, showing a local teen’s story of being kidnapped, trafficked and rescued.
“The first hurdle is changing people’s perception of human trafficking. If we want to impact human trafficking, we must raise awareness that it is happening right here in our neighborhoods,” said John Burow Pastor Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (Clawson, MI) and Co-Chair of MCC’s Human Trafficking Task Force.
Burow stressed that “the time for action is now,” with Attorney General Bill Schuette’s newly formed Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking researching the issue and state legislation currently being drafted.
“Whenever we think human trafficking is only happening somewhere else, whenever law enforcement looks at someone who is arrested for prostitution as a criminal and not a victim, whenever people patronize strip clubs or pornography - we are feeding the beast,” said Burow.
Reyes, who also sits on the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking, said it is up to an engaged community to put a stop to the crime, “Victims of human trafficking do not self report as victims of car theft, robbery and assault would - if you don't go look for them you won't find them.”
The event is being hosted by Embassy Covenant Church International (Troy, MI). The MCC will follow the forum with a training about upcoming legislation and how to engage elected officials and law enforcement. Monday July 15, 2013 6-9 pm Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 15:27
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
FREE HOME OWNERSHIP CLASS SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
With today’s housing market, it’s a great time to buy a home! Washtenaw Housing Education Partners (WHEP) announces its homebuyer educational seminars and services for July through December, 2013. The partner agencies--Michigan State University Extension, Community Alliance, POWER Inc., Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, Neighborhood Senior Services, Washtenaw County Treasurer, and the Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development—provide education services to future Washtenaw County homebuyers. Additional programs are available through Community Alliance and Habitat for Humanity to provide down payment assistance and housing rehabilitation specifically for low- to moderate- income homebuyers.
“Often, homebuyers are surprised they qualify for the program financially, but in Washtenaw County, the area median income is higher than many people think,” explains Community Alliance Housing Program Coordinator Sam Brown. “For example, a single person can earn up to $45,100 and a family of four can make as much as $64,400 per year and still may qualify for down payment assistance or rehabilitation work through Community Alliance. In addition, with home prices being so affordable, an individual buyer who makes a fair amount less than the maximum income per year can qualify for the program, and in this market, have a good chance finding a suitable property.”
The first step that buyers take is to attend the Washtenaw Homebuyer Education Program, a six-hour class usually held on two evenings, open to anyone interested in purchasing a home in Washtenaw County. There is no cost for attending the seminar, and the information covered includes:
· Finding the right house
· How to finance a home purchase
· Working with Lenders & Realtors
· Home inspections
· Property taxes & insurance
· Accessing Down-Payment Assistance
· Property Taxes and Insurance
· Foreclosure Prevention
Registration is required at least 1 day before the course by calling 734-997-1678. The schedule of classes through June of 2013 is as follows:
Thursday, July 11 and 18, 2013 6:00 to 9:00 pm Washtenaw County LRC
(near Washtenaw and Hogback)
Wednesday, Aug.21, 2013 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Washtenaw County LRC
Wednesday, Sept 4 and 11, 2013 6:00 to 9:00 pm Washtenaw County LRC
Saturday, October 12, 2013 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Downtown Ypsilanti (location TBA)
Wednesday, Nov. 6 and 13, 2013 6:00 to 9:00 Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) office
Additional classes or financial counseling may be recommended and/or required depending on the buyer’s financial and credit readiness for home-buying.
Funding for this program comes from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), through Washtenaw County’s Office of Community and Economic Development, along with other public and private funds. Homebuyers are served on a first come/first approved basis per program guidelines.
For more Information on the Washtenaw Housing Education Partners Homebuyer Education Program, please read through the registration packet on line at http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/ extension/CommDevelopment/whepregistrationpacket12.pdf and call (734) 997-1678.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 11:43
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff Writer
As we prepare for another exciting season and transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts, we look forward to discovering new talents. Current Sphinx Competition winners are performing as soloists with the nation's top orchestras!
Will YOU be the next
Sphinx Competition winner?
Please click here to view the rules and regulations for the 17th Annual Sphinx Competition: https://sphinx.myreviewroom.com
Ade Williams, Junior Division 1st Place Laureate Photo: Glenn Triest
Registration for the upcoming competition is now open. The application deadline for the 17th Annual Sphinx Competition is:
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 @ 11:59pm EST.
Those who advance will be invited to the live semi-finals and finals round from February 19-23, 2014 in Detroit, MI.
Senior Division Prizes (Ages 18 – 26)
1st Place- $10,000 cash prize, solo appearances with major orchestras, performance with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at the Finals Concert
2nd Place - $5,000 cash prize, performance with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at the Finals Concert
3rd Place - $3,500 cash prize, performance with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at the Finals Concert
Junior Division Prizes (Ages 17 and under)
1st Place- $5,000 cash prize, solo appearances with major orchestras, performances with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and at Finals Concert, nationally-broadcast radio appearance on From the Top
2nd Place - $3,500 cash prize, performance with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra
3rd Place - $2,000 cash prize, performance with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra
As we continue to build diversity in classical music, we hope you will also share this information with your friends and colleagues.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 13:25
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
The Education Achievement Authority has announced that the most recent assessment test scores show “phenomenal” progress in students of the state-run district.
Students completed the third round of Scantron Performance Series tests in late April and early May. The results showed that 56 percent of students already have achieved one or more year’s growth in reading and 44 percent have achieved two or more year’s growth. In math, 65 percent of students achieved one full year’s growth and 48 percent achieved two full years’ growth.
“The scores are phenomenal and impressive,” said EAA Chancellor Dr. John Wm. Covington.
“Students have responded enthusiastically to the new blended, student-centered approach to education. They are showing they want to learn and can learn given the right environment. They are closing the educational gap.”
Covington said students in EAA schools started out the year behind, so it makes sense to measure growth rather than benchmarks.
EAA students use levels instead of grades for placement. They work through a student-centered platform where they can move on to the next topic once they prove mastery.
“My math and reading scores have improved and it makes me feel like I’m really learning,” said Jordan Cook, 11, a student at Brenda Scott Elementary/Middle School. “I like being able to work at my own pace.”
Trumeia Smith, 12, a student at Nolan Elementary/Middle School, agreed with Cook.
“I get to move on to a new level without having to wait for the rest of the class. I like student-centered learning and I think it has helped me a lot.”
The most recent assessments show progress in students since earlier testing in January and February. Those results showed 27 percent had achieved one or more years of growth in reading, and 22 percent had achieved at least one year’s growth in math.
Covington explained that the tests, which are taken on computers, alter the level of the questions based on the student’s answers. If the student is answering all questions correctly, the questions start to become difficult. However, if the student is struggling to answer questions correctly, it lowers the level of difficulty.
“The assessments allow teachers to meet the students where they are at,” Covington said.
He continued, “The schools admitted into the EAA were in the lowest of the 5 percent of Persistently Lowest Achieving schools in the state. This new data shows that these students are learning. These schools have gone from a pattern of failing children to educating children.
“Students are catching up. We are working to get as many students at grade level and to make sure students who need more time are getting the attention needed. We definitely are seeing a paradigm shift in how education is experienced in Detroit.”
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 01:12
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