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K-12 Education

NBC News Learn Presents: Education Now Detroit

On October 24, 2019, NBC News hosted a series of panel discussions with stakeholders in the realm of Detroit education. Dubbed Education Now: Detroit, the event brought together educators, community leaders, and others to discuss addressing student trauma, chronic absence, teacher preparation, and student opportunity.

The Skillman Foundation President and CEO Tonya Allen appeared on the student opportunity panel.

Why these conversations matter

Detroit children are smart, talented, creative, and determined. But too often their circumstances stifle them from reaching their full potential. Concentrated poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, struggling schools, and disconnection from the economy are issues that perpetuate a cause-and-effect cycle that must be broken. We can do this by reaching children with opportunities that enable them to write the future of their choosing. That means creating strong and loving schools and communities that put the well-being of children first.

Policymakers, business leaders, teachers, parents, and community members all have important roles to play in this. Policymakers must set their sights on solutions that enable everyone to thrive; We must stop creating winners and losers. We need research-based, results-driven, and equitably applied policies that tie strong practice to adequate financing. The business community can work in partnership with schools to help bridge classroom skill-building to real-world workplaces. Educators can help prepare young people for an ever-changing future in which they must master how to continuously learn, process new information, and adapt to new technologies. Parents can be a strong partner to teachers and school administrators, and seek opportunities for children to explore their interests and talents outside of school hours. And community members can support educators by being vocal about respect for the profession and back teachers, schools, and youth-service providers and by way of volunteerism and/or monetary support.

Click here to watch the four panels.

The Skillman Foundation

A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy that serves as a fierce champion of Detroit children. The Foundation works to ensure Detroit youth achieve their highest aspirations by strengthening K-12 public education, afterschool learning opportunities, and college and career pathways.

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