Education in the city of Detroit has historically failed our students. 47% of adults in the city are functionally illiterate. Now, only 13.3% of the adult population of Detroit has a college degree. 28.4% of the adult population is unemployed. Though these numbers are disheartening, they were an inspiration to our staff. Things must change.
The University YES Academy Elementary school opened its doors in the 2013 - 2014 school year to more than 240 Detroit children. We opened with the focus and drive that we are one school, on one mission. That mission is to get our scholars to college and through college with the tools they need to effect meaningful change in our world.
In our founding year, with limited classroom resources and 11 first-year teachers, we made more growth than the average classroom in the United States. 40% of our 1st graders came to us at a pre-kindergarten level in reading and math. Now, these same scholars are reading and doing math at a higher level than the average 1st grade student in the country. That being said, thinking of the obstacles Detroit children are forced to face, being an average school is simply not enough.
Currently, we don't have the things we need to build the resource-rich environment our scholars need to be competitive with their suburban peers. The tools we seek will allow our scholars to become better readers, writers, speakers, and citizens.
10 Scholastic Classroom Libraries
These libraries will allow our scholars to develop a love of reading that will sustain them to and through college.
5 iPads for Each Classroom
Right now, our scholars have 0 minutes of computer time in their school day. A set of iPads for each class would provide access to information from around the world and apps that have been proven to improve reading and math skills.
Fountas & Pinnell Kits for Each Classroom
This research-based literacy program provides data-driven results in reading. This is what we need to adjust our reading instruction to each inidivdual reader.
3 Lakeshore Classroom Rugs
These rugs allow a space for scholars to sit during Read Aloud, the time we learn the important speaking and listening habits needed to be successful citizens.
Chair Pockets and Classroom Organization Bins
Organization is a habit that must be internalized early in life. Classroom organization systems encourage the development of these habits and allow the physical space to learn.
Classroom Whiteboard Sets & Markers
Individual whiteboards allow for teachers to quickly check their students' understanding and save paper in the process. Plus it's a fun way to learn phonics and math!
Indoor and Outdoor Recess Games
Our school does not have a playground, and we know play is essential to building a happy, healthy child. Recess toys and games will allow our scholars to build these important social skills.
Our college-bound mission is apparent everywhere at our school. We envision college flags and pennants marking our walls, so scholars are exposed to the pride and excitement of going to college.