How can we best impact the lives of Detroit kids?

The Foundation is preparing for work beyond the Good Neighborhoods Initiative, a 10-year, $100-million commitment to changing life outcomes for kids in six Detroit neighborhoods that will sunset this year. In thinking about how we can best support Detroit children going forward, we've been asking the community for input and will be sharing it here on our blog.

While much of the input is solicited in community/group gatherings, we recently reached out through facebook & twitter to pose the question: How can we best impact the lives of Detroit kids? 

facebook GNI post 2016

Here is what we heard:

  • More youth development programs, such as:
    - A teen club that teaches life skills and financial literacy
    - Transform abandoned properties into clubhouses that offer youth tutoring, mentors, etc.
    - Field trips for youth to become familiar with communities outside of Detroit. Youth could take ideas of things they liked and bring them back to their community.
    - Book clubs for youth starting at 5-years-old
  • More class offerings in school
  • Increase job training and youth employment opportunities, including:
    - Career readiness programs, job shadowing and trade certification
  • Support parent engagement, such as:
    - Have a parent advisory board where parents can share ideas for what programs they'd like to see for their kids
    - Strengthen the family structure, working with fathers in particular
  • Reduce blight and create more safe spaces for kids
  • Improve school culture, including:
    - Conflict resolution and sensitivity training for all school employees, from the principal to the janitor
    - "No bully bucks" incentives where young people are commended for healthy behavior 
  •  More wraparound services in schools, including more counselors and tutors
  • Support children's health issued, including:
    - infant mental health
    - lead poisoning prevention & care
  • Create youth leadership opportunities
  • Ensure all kids are provided transportation to school 

A tremendous thanks to all that have taken the time to share your ideas. If you haven't had a chance to weigh in, let us know how we can best impact the lives of Detroit kids by commenting here, or sharing via facebook or twitter using the hashtag #KidsMatterHere. Your insights and ideas will help inform our work going forward. 

Learn more about the Foundation's work in Youth Development, Education, Safety and Community Leadership! And stay tuned for more posts about what others have to say, and updates regarding the Skillman Foundation's next iteration of work.

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