Category: Community Written by Amber Bogins
Walgreens and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association are joining forces to promote enrollment in health coverage under President Barack Obama's health care reform law, the pharmacy company and insurance alliance announced Wednesday.
Walgreens will provide brochures to customers at its more than 8,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores across the U.S. and has debuted a consumer information website, LearnAboutReform.com, with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an affiliation of 38 health insurance companies.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 16:46
Category: Community - Original Written by Rian Barnhill
The goal of the Southeast Michigan-Regional Transit Authority is to create a public transit system that addresses the challenges facing our region. Achieving this goal will require the active involvement of a Citizen Advisory Committee, which may make recommendations to the RTA board.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 15:13
Category: Community Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
By adding 46 Pre-K classrooms, which vastly expands early childhood offerings to eligible students, a Universal Pre-Kindergarten initiative has been lauched by Detroit Public Schools (DPS).
The addition of new preschool classrooms, as well as the announcement of art and music expansion plans and new parenting programs, mark the first initiatives launched as part of the district’s ambitious five-year strategic plan
Among the first initiatives to be implemented from the district’s 2013-17 strategic plan, “Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools,” Detroit Public Schools announced a broad strategy to vastly increase preschool offerings for eligible students, expand art and music offerings in all schools and create new parenting programs to increase parent engagement.
The DPS Universal Pre-K program will add 25 new early learning classrooms to 14 sites geographically spread across the city, including 12 classrooms in five new DPS Early Learning Neighborhood Centers. In total, DPS will operate 215 Pre-K classrooms at 70 schools with a capacity for 3,530 young learners.
The plan also includes moving an additional 21 Pre-K classrooms into DPS schools to create a more seamless transition to DPS kindergarten. The programs were operated by DPS within district-authorized charter schools, Educational Achievement Authority schools, or buildings that are closing during the 2012-2013 school year.
“DPS’ Universal Pre-K Plan is designed to invest early in our children through expanded preschool programs for all eligible four-year-olds because study after study has found that quality early childhood education pays dividends with improved academic success and graduation rates,” said Emergency Manager Roy S. Roberts.
“Quality Pre-K programs help children learn to read before 3rd grade, which is a critical achievement. We know that students who can read by 3rd grade will stay engaged in school and graduate at much higher rates,” said Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics for Detroit Public Schools.
In tandem with the announcement, DPS officials unveiled plans to aggressively retain children from the district’s Pre-K programs in its general academic programs, which will aid the district in enrollment stabilization and set the foundation for students to be better-prepared to enter kindergarten. Currently, the district loses about a third of Pre-K students before first grade and half of preschool students by third grade.
In addition to the 46 new preschool classrooms, the retention plan includes:
• New monthly Pre-K-to-Kindergarten transition programs during the school year
• One-on-one satisfaction surveys with parents
• Individualized Pre-K-to-kindergarten counseling for families
• First-ever pre-kindergarten enrichment programs this summer, including weekly educational/experiential field trips and other programs, during the district’s Summer Academy.
These new moves support the district’s strategy to provide more Pre-K programs and to find innovative methods of attracting new students.
New Preschool classrooms will be located at the following sites:
• Academy of the Americas
• Ann Arbor Trail
• Beard Early Childhood
• Bennett Elementary
• Brewer Elementary-Middle School
• Burton International Academy
• Carleton Elementary School
• Clemente, Roberto Academy
• Detroit International Academy for Young Women
• Douglass Academy for Young Men
• Durfee Elementary-Middle School
• Earhart Elementary-Middle School
• Emerson Elementary-Middle School
• Edison Elementary School
• Fleming Pre-K
• Golightly Education Center
• Maybury Elementary School
• Palmer Park Preparatory Academy
• Pulaski Elementary-Middle School
• Robeson, Paul-Malcolm X Academy (at Hally)
• Vernor Elementary School
• Wayne Elementary School
• Young, Coleman A. Elementary
• Adult Education Center - East
• Adult Education Center - West
The district is also creating five new Early Learning Neighborhood Centers at Beard, Emerson, Fleming, Golightly Education Center and Palmer Park Preparatory Academy.
In keeping with the district’s strategic plan, officials also announced plans to add new music and art enrichment programs throughout DPS beginning in the fall of 2014.
A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released on June 24 using the District’s Strategic Sourcing process, with responses due July 23. The strategic plan calls for an art/music enrichment program for every elementary school student, partnering with individuals and agencies with a proven track record in Detroit.
Also initiated under the strategic plan, the district unveiled plans for a new Parent University and Parenting Home Visits that are part of the district’s extensive parent engagement initiatives. Parent University will feature a professional development curriculum tailored for parents, internships, and the formation of a collaborative of support organizations for parents of students from Head Start to college. The Home-School Visitation program will strengthen the relationship between teachers and parents for improved academic and behavioral outcomes. These programs are modeled in Boston and California, respectively.
Additional initiatives from the community-driven Detroit Public Schools strategic plan, which will be ready for this new school year starting September 3, include; Career Academies offering diploma, certification, associate degree and apprenticeships upon completion; Community Schools models; Safety enhancements; Customer Service programs and training; and new Attendance and Code of Conduct policies.
Parents can apply at their local DPS School. Requirements for enrollment: child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and proof of income. Students must be 4 years of age by November 1.
For more information, call (313) 347-8923.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 17:09
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Jazz up your summer at Greenfield Village's seventh annual Ragtime Street Fair this weekend, July 13 -14, with special hours on Saturday until 9 p.m. Inspired by the festivals from the early 20th century, Ragtime Street Fair brings this unique period in American history to life through live entertainment, delicious summer street fair food, dramatic performances and even ragtime dance lessons.
Visitors can enjoy live entertainment celebrating these pre-jazz glory days with piano performances by Taslimah Bey, "Perfessor" Bill Edwards, John Remmers, Bill Meyer, Daniel J. McCarthy, Brent Beggs, Mary Pitcher, Carolyn Dicks and Jerry Perrine. The River Raisin Ragtime Revue and the Tartarsauce Traditional Jazz Band will keep the music flowing all weekend with special concerts Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday, competing pianists will show off their talents in a high-energy, piano-cutting contest while guests can learn the steps to popular ragtime dances. If you're interested in showing off more of your dance moves, join in on the cake walk competition, a traditional plantation dance in which the best dancer is given a cake.
Throughout the weekend purchase farm fresh produce at the traditional street fair located on Main Street, including sliced watermelon, strawberries, peaches and corn on the cob. If you've really worked up an appetite, try a New Orleans-inspired Muffuletta sandwich prepared by The Henry Ford's award-winning culinary staff.
Admission to Greenfield Village is free with membership or $24 adults, $22 senior (62 and up) and $17.50 youth (5-12). Children four and under are free. For more information, call (313) 982-6001 or visit www.thehenryford.org.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:26
Category: Community Written by Donald James
Detroit City Clerk Janice M. Winfrey is extremely busy these days. With the city’s primary election less than a month away, her schedule is extremely hectic, both as a candidate — she’s running for re-election — and as the city’s chief election official. She stopped by the Michigan Chronicle’s office recently for an editorial meeting.
Detroit’s chief election officer and the keeper of the city’s official seal, said the upcoming primary race Aug. 6 is historic.
“This municipal race is very important as the candidates, and ultimately the winners for various city positions, will impact the day-to-day life of all Detroiters,” Winfrey said. “It’s important that we exercise our right to vote. It’s important that we come out to vote so that those in power understand that our voting rights are important. If you want your voice to be heard, it is imperative that we as Detroiters get out and vote.”
Winfrey, a native Detroiter, understands that there may be some voters who feel that their voice and vote are not important, especially since the city is now under emergency management.
“I hope that Detroiters realize that their votes matter,” she said. “However, it takes an extra push from my office whenever there is an election, so we will again set up satellite voting where voters can come out a good two weeks before Election Day to cast their votes, and it’s important for voters to know that they no longer have to provide a reason to vote absentee.”
While this will be Winfrey’s 11th election as city clerk, there is little doubt that the upcoming mayor’s race, despite a sitting EM in place, is shaping up to be one of the most interesting in the last four decades. For the first time since Coleman A. Young became the city’s first Black mayor in the early 1970s, a White candidate, Mike Duggan, has received significant support — Black and White — to make a run at Detroit’s top job. However, if Duggan is to make history in Detroit, he will have to do so as a write-in candidate, after an appeal court ruling decided that his name could not be placed on the upcoming primary election ballot because he did not meet city residency requirements at the time he filed to run for mayor.
In addition to Duggan, according to Winfrey’s office, there will be six other candidates running for mayor who have officially filed as write-ins. As of July 8, they are Alga Marie Anderson-Bowlson, Ricardo Brown, Walter Cole, Cheryl Franklin, Clyde Darnell Lynch and Willis McLeod. According to the clerk’s office, July 26 at 4 p.m. marks the filing deadline for write-in candidates.
Winfrey was asked to elaborate on write- in candidacy.
“Candidates must file to be a write in candidate. They have up to the second Friday before the election to declare their intent as a write-in candidate. Upon doing so, we send a list of all declared write -in candidates to polling precincts so they will have a list of qualified write-in candidates,” Winfrey said.
The city clerk further explained that when it comes to officially counting a write-in ballot, the voter’s intent is paramount.
“For example, if a candidate running for an elected office in Detroit is named Joe Brown, but voters wrote in J. Brown, Jo Brown, Joseph Brown, or misspelled the candidate’s name, it’s the voter’s intent that is considered when tallying votes for the write-in candidate,” the city clerk said.
“Two things must happen for any write-in candidate’s name to be counted,” she said. “First, the name has to be written in and the oval/bubble next to the name must be completely filled. If not, the ballot is not valid.”
She said the names of the two top vote-getters in the August 6 election will appear on the ballot for the November 5 election, even if the winners are write-in candidates. Since Duggan has been the most news reported and followed write-in candidate, Winfrey was asked if she expected any challenges to his name being declared for voters to write him in.
“In the city of Detroit, challenges related to elections are the order of the day,” said Winfrey, with a smile. “Every race in every category is always challenged. Candidates have the right to challenge.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 17:11
- Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence to celebrate Southfield’s achievements in Let’s Move! healthy lifestyles program at the White House
- Celebrate the Roots of the Jazz Era at Greenfield Village’s Ragtime Street Fair July 13-14, 2013
- Classical Tuesdays, Sunset in the City, and Movie Night in the D Launch at Campus Martius Park
- Detroit Long Standing Bar Mr. Mikes In Ruins
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