June 2021 Newsletter

June 04, 2021

DPSCD Summer Programming!

Summer Programming is scheduled at 44 DPSCD schools (28, K-8; 15, 9-12; and 6 Exception Student Education Center sites) offering families and students (currently enrolled and new Fall students) great options for summer enrichment and recreational activities from July 12, 2021-August 5, 2021. Monday – Thursday morning academic activities and afternoon recreational activities with play activities all day on Friday. Opportunities include:

  • Academic Enrichment Opportunities (virtual and face-to-face) for K-12: Course & Grade Recovery, High School Acceleration, and Kindergarten Bootcamp. 
  • Summer Enrichment Programming Opportunities: Neighborhood-Based with nonprofits, faith- and community-based organizations and Summer Athletic Programs that include  intramural sports programming, summer camp activities, and athletic skill-based coaching programs.

Lean more by visiting https://www.detroitk12.org/Page/15528


Welcome Dr. Iris Taylor!

We welcome our newest Board Member, Dr. Iris Taylor, elected to the DPS Foundation Board at the February 2021 Board Meeting. After a stellar 40-year career at the Detroit Medical Center, Iris A. Taylor retired March 27, 2015.  The native Detroiter received her bachelor and master degrees in Nursing and her doctorate of Philosophy from Wayne State University. She was named one of Detroit’s 100 Most Influential Women in 2002 and 2007 by Crain’s Detroit Business. Dr. Taylor served as board President of the Detroit Public Schools Community District for four years and is currently vice chair of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. Iris is honored to now serve as Nursing Director for the Detroit Health Department.

Welcome Dr. Taylor!


Evrod Cassimy Partners with DPS Foundation! 

Evrod Cassimy, Morning Anchor on WDIV/ClickOnDetroit.com, has released his new single, “Good Enough” with 100% of mask sale proceeds donated to the DPS Foundation!

Evrod says his deep connection to education stems from his parents. “Both of my parents are retired educators, so education has always been very important to me. I’m thankful for the front-line workers within DPSCD who have worked tirelessly to provide for students during the pandemic. I wrote this song to inspire others to keep fighting through all the challenges this past year has brought us. The mask serves as a reminder to never give up because we’re all Good Enough.”

To listen to E’s heartfelt song and for the purchase of a mask ($18) go to https://evrodcassimy.com.


David Baker Lewis Supports our Detroit College Promise Scholarship Program!

For those that know David Baker Lewis, you know that his heart will forever be in the City of Detroit.  What you may not know is that his commitment to the children of DPSCD is unwavering.  Born in Detroit to Dorothy Florence Baker Lewis and Walton Adams Lewis, David attended  Detroit Public Schools’ Courville Elementary, Nolan Junior High School and graduated from John J. Pershing High School in 1962. High school was an important time in his life.  It was five years after Brown vs the Board of Education and these were formative years for young David.  He would have gone to Cleveland Elementary, but ended up at Nolan which was closer to home but on the other side of 7 mile, which was a clear delineation of whites and blacks.  Pershing was very integrated at that time and white flight had not quite begun. The events of the 50’s and 60’s shaped David.  He played football, participated in extracurricular activities and recalls Pershing being a great experience in a very diverse environment. 

Detroit College Promise Scholarships are important to David Baker Lewis as education was a priority in his family.  He watched his mother and father assist children at their church and young people that needed opportunities to go to college.  David’s father grew up in Iowa and his stepfather, who was his role model, died before David’s father went to college.  David says the business community, from the pharmacist to the sheriff, put together a fund for him to matriculate to historically Black Howard University where he met David’s mother.  David’s grandfather (mother’s father) was a lawyer from Bay City and knew the benefits of education.  David’s uncle, Robert Baker was married to ‘aunt Connie, who was a teacher’.  His family was always involved in DPS activities, shepherding children on their road to education.  

David shared that the work of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation is critical and he is so pleased to support our scholarship program.  David has also established funds at his alma maters for Detroit students at Oakland University and also one in his parents’ name at the University of Chicago’s Business School for students pursuing a Masters degree in Business. 

David is officially retired, but is of counsel at Lewis & Munday (he founded Lewis, White and Clay in 1972, now Lewis and Munday).  He spends his days enjoying and spreading blessings to those in need and doting over his three grandchildren. David remembers getting advice as a young boy from a senior citizen that he has always carried all his life “if you get your education, no one can take it away from you”. 

We thank Lisa and David Lewis for their generosity and love for our children.


Director Highlight – Alumnae Rian Barnhil

As Olympia Development’s Vice President, Government Affairs and Community Relations, Detroit native and resident Rian English Barnhill leads the real-estate development company’s community impact efforts. Rian collaborates with residents, businesses, community organizations, and public leaders to advance the company’s commitment to delivering new jobs for Detroiters, expanding access to affordable housing, and rejuvenating the city and neighborhoods with distinctive construction and redevelopment of storied landmarks. 

Rian is a proud 2001 graduate of Renaissance High School and went to Tennessee State University, an HBCU. This summer, she will be starting her Executive MBA journey at Yale University while working for Olympia Development and being a wife, mother, and engaged community member.

While at Renaissance, Rian fell in love with writing and journalism. Her instructor Ramonda Hollenquest opened up an entire world of literature to her that sparked a passion for all forms of communication. This educator’s work was so impactful, that ultimately Rian became a newspaper editor and had a journalism career that spanned over 12 years.

Additionally, according to Rian, 

“My experiences at Renaissance also deepened my love of theatre and performing arts through classes with dance instructor Gina Ellis. Ms. Ellis (who still teaches at Renaissance) provided career exploration and exposure to all aspects of performing arts, including behind the scenes, front of the house, backstage, and performance. Ms. Ellis would bring in professional dancers from New York, Broadway performers, artists, and stage crew technicians as real-life instructors. These unique experiences helped me to see myself in the places they were. These were professionals who had similar backgrounds and looked like me — living out my wildest dreams. These were unforgettable experiences, and I still cherish them to this day.”


Office of Homeless and Foster Care’s (OHFC) New Pantry June Opening

One of the most important projects to date was assisting the District’s OHFC this past year in raising over $140,000 to support 1,500 plus homeless students and families. Funding from our generous donors helped in a myriad of ways. We were able to establish a pantry at OHFC’s offices at Frederick Douglass Academy, as well as invested in an inventory and distribution electronic tracking system, shelving, containers and labels, and items such as laundry supplies, personal hygiene products, clothing and school supplies. Still in the establishment phase, the OHFC is looking to open in June, setting up three rooms to service families.

According to Michelle Parker, Assistant Director, Student Services, “This will allow the OHFC to better service our students and families at a moment’s notice.” We receive calls almost daily and each family/students’ needs are specific and in many cases immediate and this allows us to provide these needs without a waiting period.” 

The OHFC recently had a family of six children fleeing from a domestic violence situation who did not have time to take items from their home, and the OHFC was able to provide basic necessities, connect them to Gleaners services and to other needed resources. Another family moved from the Bahamas needing a permanent home and resources. The OHFC provided laptops, porch care packages and delivery of items and other resources as they did not have access to transportation. 

Michelle stated “Until recently, there were quite a few families that did not know this office existed, but the word is getting out through our partnerships and social media connections and we now have a lot of families who struggled with identifying themselves as homeless, now open up and are relieved and grateful for the services that the Office of Homeless and Foster Care provides. When they then experience an additional crisis, this office becomes the support net for them.”


The Emily and Henry Ford III, 2nd Annual Golf Outing at TPC Michigan on Monday, June 21st  SOLD OUT

Thank you to all our sponsors and donors!
We’ll see you on June 21st for fun, games, and great prizes – All for a great cause!


Detroit College Promise Scholarship – 40 Students Need Your Support!

Save the date and join us!  Sponsorships needed.  This has been an unimaginable year for our students, their families and our educators.  Let’s support them.  Golf remains a safe outdoor activity and what better way to

Forty Detroit College Scholarship (DCP) applicants jumped through all the hoops and will be receiving scholarships at a virtual award ceremony on August 5, 2021!  We have $40,000 to raise to meet our $80,000 goal! 

These students have endured the unimaginable and deserve to further their education, uninterrupted. Tiera Barnett is a Class of 2021 Senior at Cass Technical High School, matriculating to Oakland Community College, majoring in Mental Health and Social Work.  

“My goal is to earn an Associate Degree in Social Work from OCC, then transfer to earn a Bachelor in Social Work. My overall goal is to launch my own nonprofit organization named: “Success Reimagined”, focusing on financial literacy, mentorship, creating generational wealth, and exploring post-high school options. I just want to say that I am so appreciative to be a recipient of this wonderful award. Thank you for the opportunity!

Please consider making a donation to this very important scholarship program! Your gift in support of The Detroit College Promise may be submitted online to: www.dpsfdn.org/ways-to-give/detroit-college-promise-giving

You can also send a gift/check by U.S. mail (Detroit Public Schools Foundation, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 1004, Detroit, MI 48202). Please make the check payable to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation and add in the Subject Line: The Detroit College Promise.

Thank you!


End of School Year/Fiscal Year Campaign!

We are quickly approaching our School and Fiscal Year end on June 30.  This has been an incredible year in so many ways as we’ve leveraged resources and partnership in tandem with the Detroit Public Schools Community District! We are proud to be a part of the Connected Futures Initiative that raised funding for equipment and technology as our students learned from home during the pandemic!  In addition, we raised dollars for basic needs, our homeless students and their families, and other COVID-related needs! 

The Detroit Public Schools Foundation’s mission is to create and enhance educational opportunities for DPSCD students, families and educators and we are committed to living this on a daily basis. We more than exceeded our restricted/program fundraising goal, but we still need to raise $75,000 for general operating support.  

Please consider making an End of Fiscal Year/End of School Year donation! Donations may be made at https://www.classy.org/give/219073/#!/donation/checkout or you can also send a donation/check by US. Mail to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 1004, Detroit, MI 48202). Please make the check payable to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation and add in the Subject Line: General Support.

It is World Plant a Vegetable Garden Day and we are Celebrating our Farm to School Program!Happy Flag Day!

ROUSH EMPLOYEES: You can help the Central-Durfee K-12 Campus of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) Students get a STEM/ROBOTICS LAB!

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