As the Detroit Public Schools Foundation begins its second academic year of positively impacting the lives of Detroit’s children, I’m often asked about the greatest needs in the schools. From our vantage point, there are three primary needs where we see opportunity to support successful programs.

The first is Early Childhood Education. All of the research points in one direction – the earlier children begin learning, the better students they will become. So, the Foundation has invested, for this year, in 14 pre-kindergarten classrooms at Detroit elementary schools, up from 12 last year. Thanks to the support of PNC Bank, the Grow Up Great program provides resources to enable preschool teachers to focus on Science and Arts education.

We also see a growing need in the Fine and Performing Arts. This year, we have funded Detroit’s legendary All-City High School Band, which has not been together in more than a decade. They are now practicing and we expect to be able to announce performances in the coming months.

We continue to see a need in “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and look forward to sharing more details on how we are funding STEM-related competitions for Detroit students.

While we can’t fill every need, we are committed to providing successful programs that benefit the school children of Detroit, and ultimately, the future of the city and the region.