I caught Star Crawford on the phone the morning of Tuesday, November 20th to chat about the benefits of having her children enrolled in Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Star has three boys, Alexander, Christopher, and DeAngelo, who are ages 7, 9, and 15, respectively. The younger two attend The Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies School, or FLICS, while the eldest graduated from FLICS to Renaissance High School.

I asked Star if her boys had always attended this school, and she told me that her family moved to Detroit from Atlanta not too long ago. Despite receiving some warnings, Star’s experience with the district has been overwhelmingly positive. “All schools and districts are going to have their issues,” she states, “but here the positives outweigh the negatives by far.”

Since Dr. Vitti became Superintendent, Star told me that she has also noticed significant improvements within DPSCD. For example, her middle son, Christopher, says the water supplied by the new water coolers “tastes so much better” than that from the fountains. These coolers have been used since the water contamination problem was discovered last summer, and are a short-term solution while DPSCD works to install permanent, filtered “hydration stations” in all 106 school buildings. While the district’s water issues cannot be solved overnight, “slow progress is progress none the less,” Star says.

Star now calls her friends back in Atlanta to brag about the many free programs provided by DPSCD. Her family has taken advantage of district events to keep her boys busy on the weekends, such as ice cream socials and bike riding lessons. Star’s youngest son, Alexander, was also entertained by the free books he received from the district last summer (between first and second grade), some of which were even bilingual!

Star expressed her gratitude for the many free resources provided by the district, along with other programs. Not having to worry about purchasing book bags for her children is beneficial, and as a working parent, knowing they will receive both breakfast and lunch at school is especially helpful. I really enjoyed hearing about all the positive aspects of DPSCD Star and her family have enjoyed since moving to Detroit. As she states, “all the little things add up!”