Category: Community Written by G. Strand
Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy emphasizes technology and eco-friendly practices
At Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy, students are engaged in virtual learning in one of DPS’ small, self-governing high schools that is focused on college-readiness. Felicia Cook, fourth-year principal at Osborn Evergreen, has transformed the school’s reputation by infusing its curriculum with technology and an eco-friendly culture dominated by student cooperation and achievement.
Virtual classrooms, which enhance student ability to learn online, are only a part of the reason student achievement is advancing at Osborn Evergreen, where its 11th and 12th grade students are involved in E2020, a turnkey digital learning environment featuring lectures, assignments and homework.
With one of Osborn’s core components being design, the school’s art program plays a critical role in shaping the students’ creative eye. Through Osborn Evergreen’s art program, students create ceramics, pottery, web design, paintings and free-hand drawings. Students have even used technology to design some elaborate car sketches.
Pierre Hawkins, an 11th grade student at Osborn Evergreen, expressed his enthusiasm toward art and design as he proudly shared a sample of his work on his Smartphone. “I think every student should have the opportunity to experience art,” he said.
Student-designed showcase windows are displayed throughout the school, many showcasing recycled material. Each month, several students are designated a window and act as ‘artistic directors’ in designing and executing the completion of the showcases. Students can use the showcase as a creative muse and paint, draw and assemble a masterpiece. Students have even designed three dimensional showcase displays.
Teaching students to be echo-conscious through science
Biology and Environmental Science teacher Ashley Marderosian infuses real-world concepts into her classroom by utilizing the 5E (engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation) Lesson Plan Template, which allows students to explore the material before she reveals the answer.
“It’s easy to get involved with real-world practices such as eco-conscious activities when you teach science,” Marderosian said.
Working with the environment and getting the local community involved is something Osborn Evergreen students do best. This year, the students worked with the Conner Creek Elderly Living to design and build flowerbeds that were installed around the Osborn campus.
“The students, as well as our community, have done a great job at cleaning up our campus and giving it a great look and feel. In the spring time, students will be designing and displaying their recycled sculptures to aid in the beautification of our campus,” Cook said.
Osborn Evergreen also has a highly active Recycling Program led by Marderosian. The Urban Farming Club and Environmental Club meet regularly to discuss what new and innovative projects students and staff can get involved with to help make their school more ‘green.’
Teaching students to become leaders
Aside from helping them learn how to have a better appreciation of the environment, Cook is in sync with her young scholars and realizes communication is what drives her students to work hard.
Osborn Evergreen’s Student Council members have been deemed the “heartbeat of the school.” They are the “eyes and ears” on campus and take on many responsibilities at the school.
“Here at Osborn, we want to make sure our students are educated on character, integrity and accountability,” Cook said. “That’s why open communication between staff and students is so important.”
Osborn Evergreen 11th grade student Kitara Hamilton previously attended a different school and said there was no connection for her there.
“The school was so big it was to the point where the principal didn’t even know me, and you just had to get to your class,” she said. “I love Osborn because here they communicate with you and actually make you want to go to class.”
Hamilton was featured on FOX 2 to represent the Osborn Safety Station, an after-school program at Osborn open to 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. The Safety Station is committed to fostering a violence-free culture where young people can thrive. The Safety Station executive board members are often called upon by Cook and other teachers to rally students for assemblies and other activities regarding safety, violence prevention and positive youth development.
A critical part of Detroit Public Schools new Strategic Plan has been the Safe Routes Program and a Call to Action to generate more volunteers to help ensure all students get to and from school safely.
“There are many kids, teenagers and little ones who walk to school by themselves. We need adults and other authoritative figures to look out for us so that we get to school safely,” Hamilton said.
In early August, Detroit Public Schools announced a broad expansion of its Citizens Patrol programs to vastly increase Safe Routes for Detroit children and their families going to and from school.
The expanded citizens patrols, which are part of a comprehensive, multi-agency program has already proven to reduce incidents.
Editor’s Note: Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy is located at 11600 East 7 Mile Road in Detroit. For more information call: 313.866.0343. For those interested in volunteering for the school patrols, call: 313.748.6008
Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 15:02
Category: Community Written by C.L. Price
McDonald’s restaurant owner Jon Campbell knows the value of family. He credits his parents and grandparents with helping him succeed. And he and his wife are raising three sons which he says is a balancing act that takes a lot of energy and creativity.
“What’s important to me is balancing family, work and business” said Campbell, a former Michigan State University walk-on running back who owns six Detroit-area McDonald’s restaurants. “We have to balance work with our families and the things that we enjoy. I’ve always made family a priority.”
That’s why Campbell and some 20 other McDonald’s owners have launched McFamily Fun Night, a new weekly program that gives families with children a chance to gather for magic shows with Ronald McDonald, games, coloring, crafts, story time and prizes. Recent McFamily Fun Night events at local McDonald’s restaurants also included a gaming truck with free video games for up to 20 players at a time and special appearances by on-air radio personalities.
The program, which runs through Dec. 20, also features discounted food. All Happy Meals are $1.99 from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
McFamily Fun Night allows local McDonald’s operators to give back to the community, Campbell said, helping busy parents create fun and enriching experiences for their children at no cost.
“It’s all about the experience,” he said. “We want our customers, especially our young customers, to experience and remember good times during childhood.”
Campbell makes sure to pay close attention not only to the experiences of the kid customers that visit his store but to his own three boys who have career aspirations ranging from professional athletics and medicine and maybe even McDonald’s restaurant ownership.
“As long as they find something that they enjoy, that’s what’s most important to me,” he said.
More than 40 McDonald’s restaurants in the Detroit area are owned and operated by African-American businessmen and women who care deeply about the communities where their stores are located. These operators work to develop programs that benefit local communities, especially families.
Last summer, these local business owners sponsored concerts at Campus Martius, Chene Park and the Detroit Jazz Festival. In late September, they sponsored comedian Steve Harvey’s mentoring program for young boys at the Northwest Activities Center.
“We support programs that help families lead fuller lives,” Campbell said. “We don’t just serve food. We serve our community, and we know that the family is the core of the community.”
“It’s all about the experience.We want our customers, especially our young customers, to experience and remember good times during childhood.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 17:50
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Started in 1992, the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University recruits, trains and inspires tomorrow’s public policy leaders. The program gives 12 men and 12 women emerging leaders across Michigan the tools needed to develop a vision necessary to be successful in leadership positions and develop effective policies.
The program takes its fellows on a ten-month journey around Michigan learning about government and the policies affecting Michigan. Participants are required to attend one weekend session per month in order to effectively benefit from this unique experience.
Since its first class, the MLPL has granted certificates to over 500 fellows. The distinguished alumni include State Representative Rudy Hobbs, former chief of staff for Kevyn Orr Shani Penn and Bryan Barnhill, campaign manager for Mike Duggan.
“Before participating in MPLP, I never knew how bipartisanship really worked,” said Penn. “The experience that I received during my tenure as chief of staff to Mr. Orr strengthened my belief in how we can move forward when both sides work together. I am looking forward to continuing this same cooperation in my new role as senior strategy advisor to Governor Snyder. “
2011 alumni Bryan Barnhill commented, “On one hand, the MPLP program was a year-long intensive on the policy issues affecting our state. On the other, it was an extraordinary opportunity to develop long lasting relationships with current and future leaders of the state of Michigan.”
Now that a new session is under way, there is a new group of fellows ready to learn from professionals in both the public and private sector and garner hands on experience. One such individual, Corri Wofford, has been waiting for an opportunity to join the fellowship and considers herself lucky to have been selected. Currently, Wofford is the policy analyst and press secretary for Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Andre Spivey.
“I’m looking forward to learning more and developing relationships and learning from some of the best public minds in the state of Michigan,” Wofford said, “My goal is to become a better person in the area of public policy and have a better viewpoint when it comes to looking at issues.”
The MPLP selects from a diverse pool of candidates from all over Michigan and with varying political affiliations. Although the 2014 program is closed, applications for the 2015 program will be available in May 2014. Visit http://ippsr.msu.edu/MPLP/mplp.html for more information.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:20
Category: Community Written by Lori Ella Miller
Detroit is experiencing an amazing rebirth and renaissance. Change is happening all over the city, especially in the the city’s unique and diverse neighborhoods. On Tuesday, November 19, Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) will honor the individuals and organizations who are true champions of change and leaders in community development in Detroit. The ceremony, presented by this year’s sponsor, the Masco Corporation Foundation, will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Atheneum Hotel in Greektown.
“There are so many dedicated individuals and organizations committed to transforming Detroit’s communities into sustainable neighborhoods that are places people want to live in, work in and invest in,” said Tahirih Ziegler, executive director of Detroit LISC. “These Community Development Awards will celebrate the best and brightest in Detroit’s community development industry.”
The first Detroit Community Development Awards took place in 2001, and now this annual event brings together corporations, foundations, lenders, small businesses, developers, and non-profits to pay tribute to the hardworking area residents and organizations whose vision and leadership have transformed local communities into healthy, safe neighborhoods and thriving urban centers.
This year, the Community Development Corporation (CDC) of the Year Award, which recognizes a CDC that has made a demonstrable impact on the quality of life in its community, is being presented to Midtown Detroit, Inc. This is an organization that has been and continues to be a force for change, transformation and community redevelopment. Thanks to the efforts of Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the dynamic leadership of its president, Susan Mosey, Midtown is now a hip and bustling urban center attracting visionaries, new businesses and talented and creative individuals who want to live and work in the area.
Midtown Detroit Inc. has attracted millions of investment dollars and capital into the area. It also works on historic preservation so that Midtown keeps its distinct character and history. Midtown Detroit, Inc. has created a unique model for urban revitalization and economic development that can be replicated throughout the city of Detroit.
Guests attending the event will hear a special keynote address by David Carroll, vice president of Quicken Loans, Inc., who will speak about the company’s commitment to community development and strategic redevelopment projects in Detroit.
Detroit LISC and CDAD will also honor other organizations and local residents for the dynamic work and leadership around community development. Among them: The Champion For Working Families Award going to Focus: HOPE Greater Detroit Center For Working Families (CWF); The Exemplary Neighborhood Leadership Award going to Marsha Bruhn of the North Rosedale Park Civic Association and the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC); the Excellence in Real Estate Development honoring the Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO) Bell Building project; and the Outstanding Safety Initiative award going to Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation Community Security Program.
Also planned for the evening will be a special “in memoriam” tribute to Bridget Vance, who was a true champion and advocate for safety in Detroit. Vance served as the community safety coordinator at Focus: HOPE for five years, where she created initiatives to make local communities safe and secure. She also pioneered programs for the city’s youth, including an innovative community “safety station” in Central High School Academy, and trained youth in the principles of crime prevention that provided them with valuable life and leadership skills.
Special honors will also be given to several major foundations for their work in transforming neighborhoods, including The W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Ford Motor Company Fund.
Many men, women and children in Detroit lack access to fresh and healthy food. There are a number of programs taking on this issue, and thanks to the vision of The W.K. Kellogg Foundation things are changing. Because of the organizations work around providing healthy, fresh food options, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation will be presented with the Exceptional Partner in Neighborhood Development Award.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation actively supported the Double Up Food Bucks program that doubles the value of Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits when used at farmers’ markets, and it also made a multimillion dollar investment in Detroit’s Eastern Market.
The Ford Motor Company Fund will receive the Emerging Partner in Neighborhood Development Award for its $10 million commitment to the Ford Resources and Engagement Center in Southwest Detroit’s Mercado Building. The renovated building, which sat dormant for many years, has been reborn and now offers cultural programs, dance lessons, language classes, job training programs and a Gleaners food service center. The Ford Motor Company Fund’s extraordinary work is breathing new life into southwest Detroit.
“The Community Development Awards puts the spotlight on organizations that are doing the work in communities every day,” said Sarida Scott Montgomery, executive director of the Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) “At CDAD we support a network of organizations, community leaders, non-profits and residents taking action to be catalysts for transforming and the revitalizing of Detroit.”
The 2013 Detroit Community Development Awards will be a festive celebration, highlighted by tributes to all of the awardees and a musical performance by the Mosaic Youth Theatre. For more information about the awards ceremony and to buy tickets, visit www.detroit-lisc.org or call Detroit LISC at (313) 596-8222.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 17:42
Category: Community Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
If you are a resident of Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, River Rouge or Harper Woods, have children between the ages of 4 and 13, and you have NOT ALREADY APPLIED FOR participation in the Detroit Goodfellows holiday gift program, this is a reminder that the deadline is Friday, Nov. 8 at 5 pm.
If you have already applied you will receive a letter from the Detroit Goodfellows the first week of December with instructions on where to pick up your packages.
Founded in 1914, the Detroit Goodfellows is the original and oldest Goodfellow organization and is not affiliated with any other Goodfellow group. It also sponsors an emergency dental program for children, awards scholarships through Wayne State University, provides free shoes to children in need and helps send hundreds of needy children to camp each summer.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 22:01
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