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SEHS receives $100,000 grant for pilot summer reading program

Thursday, June 9, 2011
SEHS receives $100,000 grant for pilot summer reading program
By Katie Land, news editor

An Oakland University-authorized charter school is set to debut a new summer reading program in Detroit, made possible by a significant $97,129 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Beginning in June, this six-week long program is designed to provide reading support for students while engaging the community and their parents. The goal is to keep students committed to reading throughout the summer months, and to combat the summer reading loss many students experience.

The grant has been awarded to Oakland’s School of Education and Human Services, and will provide funds for the first year of the summer Freedom School program. Organizers hope to meet with enough success for the program to serve as a model for a similar project within Detroit Public Schools.

“I think the most important part of this program is that it could serve as a possible model for DPS,” said Louis Gallien, Ph.D. and dean of the SEHS. “If all goes well with the pilot program, it could really enact some change in the city of Detroit over the next few years.”

With a national concern about the achievement and college readiness of school children in urban centers such as Detroit, program coordinators hope this project will make a difference in the education of local children.

The program will be set in the Nsoroma Institute Public School Academy, and will have 64 student participants in the innovative summer Freedom School.

The freedom school was designed as part of a larger program put forth by the national child advocacy and research group, the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF).

Dr. Gallien first introduced the SEHS to the CDF and its works when he joined the OU community. Prior to his arrival, Dr. Gallien worked with the CDF’s founder, Marian Wright Edelmen, a civil rights activist and lawyer.

Authorized by Oakland since 1997, the Nsoroma Institute is an African American immersion school, guided by a philosophy that seeks to connect students with the diverse history and culture of the African peoples. The school teaches K-8 students and is located in Northeast Detroit.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.

For more information about programs in Oakland’s SEHS, view the website. To learn more about other institutes and programs through the Office of Public School Academies and Urban Partnerships, view the website at oakland.edu/psa.