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Detroit, MI (September 2020)—Kindergarten readiness is a powerful predictor of success later in life. Science shows 80 to 90 percent of the brain is developed by age three, making early childhood the critical time for children to experience high-quality programming. In Detroit, STEAM-based learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) is not readily available for families in need.
The greatest untapped asset in the city of Detroit is people with ideas. For decades, Detroit’s native talent was neglected in the face of economic upheaval. Today, access to professional opportunities and small business ownership continue to be a challenge, particularly for people of color and women.
Detroit, MI (September, 2020) After-school art programs matter — especially in Detroit, where only one of every two students receives arts or music education. In areas like Southwest Detroit, where students are vulnerable to high poverty and drop-out rates, there is both a greater need and a greater gap in opportunity. Research shows that a quality arts education has the potential to tremendously impact children who are vulnerable to these challenges.
Traverse City, MI (September 2020)—In 1995, scientists warned that the Great Lakes were dangerously close to an “ecological tipping point.” They suggested that if nothing was done the entire ecological ecosystem would collapse. To reverse course, the same scientists suggested concurrent paths to resiliency: 1) restoring the rivers and tributaries that flow into the Great Lakes, and 2) preserving coastal wetlands.
Grayling, MI (July 2020)—A pipe culvert that obstructed the East Branch Black River for decades is gone and with it the persistent problems it caused with erosion, flooding and fish passage. In its place, a shiny aluminum arch ushers wild brook trout to 20 miles of habitat upstream of County Road 622 — vital spawning and nursery grounds supporting the river’s famed fishery. Huron Pines is proud to have led this effort, more than two decades in the making, to restore the Shingle Mill crossing.
Detroit, MI (June 2020)— Khali Sweeney grew up in the Detroit Public Schools not knowing how to read or write. He remembers the narrative that was reinforced to him over and over again — “it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re going to be dead or in jail by the time you’re 21.” It’s a narrative he never forgot, and one of his motivations in creating the Downtown Boxing Gym.
Detroit, MI (March 2020)—With its rich, 128-year history, Eastern Market is one of the most beloved destinations in Detroit — a vibrant pubic market that fosters community connections, celebrates Detroit’s diversity and showcases its food culture. Over the past 15 years, under the management of Eastern Market Corporation, the district has also emerged as one of Detroit’s leading centers for entrepreneurship of all kinds, particularly in the food industry.
Grayling, MI (March 2020)—Clean water and healthy fish and wildlife populations are critical in making Michigan a great place to live, work, and visit. For 46 years, non-profit organization Huron Pines has been working to enhance and protect our valuable river resources in Northern Michigan. One of its priorities includes reconnecting coldwater brook trout streams, providing immediate benefit for rivers and aquatic life, and the communities that surround them.
Milford, MI (March 2020)—The Walters Family Foundation is delighted to welcome Libby Levy as the organization’s new Director. Levy joined the foundation in June 2019 bringing more than 18 years of experience in community development, philanthropy and urban planning. She has held positions at organizations including ProSeeds, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Jefferson East Business Association, as well as an urban planning lecturer at University of Michigan.
Detroit, MI (December 2019)—For the first time, the DIA is piloting a Head Start program in partnership with the Walters Family Foundation. Nearly 150 four-year-old Macomb, Oakland and Wayne county children and their caregivers will attend a series of three programs at the museum this school year to explore art with DIA gallery teachers and learn to make a project of their own in the art-making studio.Afterward, they’ll be supplied with all the material to complete a project together at home.