Now that spring has sprung in Detroit, at After-School Tutoring we’ve been putting down the baby carrots and pencils and venturing out into Eastern Market. The Robot Factory is surrounded by murals, and these works of art are perfect for mid-homework inspiration. Recently we went around the corner to the Hebru Brantley mural featuring seven children in goggles staring into the future. Behind the children, images of Detroit are sketched, with cars and smokestacks and Robo Cop and the familiar shapes of downtown buildings. What’s it about, we wondered together. One student posited that maybe it’s about the seven days of the week, and the different way you feel on different days. Maybe it’s about how our pasts and our futures come together in our cities.
While 826michigan has been providing free writing and tutoring programs to students since 2005, we’re now nearing the end of our first school year offering a full menu of programs in Detroit. We are so grateful to Dresner Foundation for their three-year grant of $150,000 to settle into our home in Eastern Market.
The Dresner Foundation “hopes to enrich lives by providing the resources needed to lead full and healthy lives,” with a special focus on youth programs that foster self-discovery. “It’s inspiring to see the impact of 826michigan’s approach with Detroit’s children as they hone the writing skills critical for their future success. We are pleased to have partnered with 826michigan as they’ve established their writing center in the heart of Detroit at the Eastern Market.” said Virginia Romano, Executive Director of the Dresner Foundation.
With the generous support of organizations like the Dresner Foundation, we’ve been able to reach so many Detroit students this year. We’re working with Cass Tech High School on modernizing Romeo & Juliet. In After-School Tutoring, we’re writing essays and solving math problems and taking breaks to enjoy the vibrant artwork in our community. In field-trips, amazingly unique stories are being penned every week. Have you ever read a story about a donut-shaped mouse named Shawn who steals cheese from coffee shops? Have you been to a planet inhabited by unicorns? Thanks to the Dresner Foundation, all this is happening and all these stories are being told here in Detroit by students building the skills for incredible futures.