A Rose for Detroit Blog

Changing in Place: The Skillman Foundation, Detroit, and the Good Neighborhoods Initiative

In 2006, the Skillman Foundation committed $100 million to a decade-long investment in six neighborhoods. Through this Good Neighborhoods Initiative, the foundation directed a majority of its grantmaking toward an intensive focus on changing the conditions where, at the time, one-third of Detroit’s children lived. The goal was to ensure that children in those places were safe, healthy, well educated, and prepared for adulthood. The initiative concluded in 2016, ultimately spanning 11 years and involving $122 million in grants, which represented 67 percent of the Foundation’s total grant spending in this time frame.

To capture information on the unique challenges facing an embedded funder as it changes program direction, Bob Tobin, senior consultant at Williams Group, interviewed Marie Colombo, Skillman Foundation director of strategic evaluation and learning. ... Read More
Working Together to Improve Academic Outcomes for Children

Working Together to Improve Academic Outcomes for Children

You can see the pride in Lourdes Valdivia’s eyes when she talks about her three sons, ages 3, 9, and 11. Each weekday morning, she and her sons walk through the doors of Harms Elementary in Southwest Detroit. Her oldest two children head for their classrooms, but it’s not the last they’ll see of their mom throughout their school day. That’s because Valdivia participates in a program that allows her to both learn English and how to better support her sons’ education.
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Detroit student fights for equal education

Detroit student fights for equal education

My parents came to the United States, almost two decades ago, in pursuit of better educational opportunities for their children. They envisioned an educational system that would provide us with the necessary resources to succeed in this country. They pictured a system different than Mexico’s, where only the children of the elite received a quality education. They were instead welcomed by a failing school district that would eventually find itself over half a billion dollars in debt. ... Read More