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Category Archives: Blog

What’s Hope got to do with it? Everything.

by: Andrea Anderson, PhD | Oct. 14th, 2021 The Skillman Foundation’s Opportunity Agenda for Detroit Children is grounded in three key metrics: third-grade reading proficiency, meaningful high-school graduation, and youth perceptions of hope and opportunity. Since launching the Opportunity Agenda, we have tracked two of the three metrics through indicators like MSTEP and SAT scores […]

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1,000+ Detroit K-8 students served via Safe Space Fund

by: | Oct. 13th, 2021 In anticipation of a heightened need for safe spaces and high-quality programming both during the school year and summer, The Skillman Foundation partnered with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan in early 2021 to establish a Safe Space Fund. Through this fund, UWSEM awarded $500,000 in The Skillman Foundation grant […]

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Research on Detroit student homelessness shapes critical changes

by: Matthew Hoerauf | Oct. 13th, 2021 In 2019 and 2020, The Skillman Foundation made a $100,000 investment, matched by the McGregor Fund, to University of Michigan – Poverty Solutions for researcher Jennifer Erb-Downward to create a report of the true number of students experiencing homelessness in Detroit, key barriers they encounter and recommended actions […]

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20 Black school leaders join inaugural Detroit principal wellness fellowship

by: Carmen Kennedy-Rogers | Oct. 13th, 2021 With funding from The Skillman Foundation, the inaugural Principal Wellness Professional Learning Community (PWPLC) launched on August 23, 2021. The learning community, a component of the Foundation’s Wellness Works initiative, is a unique learning community because of its focus on creating a safe space for Black school leaders […]

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People who partner

by: The Skillman Foundation | Oct. 11th, 2021 Those dedicated to solving complex social and systemic issues know: collaboration is king. An individual can spark change, but to make and sustain change takes a movement of many. Collaboration makes it possible—but it doesn’t make it easy. Of these basic steps, each gets harder: agreeing on […]

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Father & son work together on “Mentoring Manhood”

by: Natalie Fotias | Oct. 8th, 2021 Collaboration was a key theme in our 2020 annual report—the myriad of people, organizations, and institutions who come together to care for children. At the center of that support system is the relationship between child and parent. As I pondered how to tell this story, a father-son duo […]

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Afterschool Providers Put It All on the Line for Kids

by: Mark Navarro | Oct. 8th, 2021 When the pandemic broke, one thing was certain: kids needed support more than ever. Afterschool providers quickly stepped in to fill gaps and maintain connections with kids. For some this meant quickly moving their programming online. For others it meant providing a safe and nurturing space for children […]

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Let’s Talk: What’s Hope got to do with it?

by: The Skillman Foundation | Oct. 6th, 2021 Monday, October 184:30 P.M. Eastern The Skillman Foundation conducted a survey in 2020 to gauge how hopeful and in control Detroit youth feel about their future. Overall, a majority of youth expressed feeling powerful and ready—though there were some dimensions that suggested potential factors in how strongly […]

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Funding Opportunity: Wellness for Detroit Schools

by: Ashlee Schmidt | Oct. 4th, 2021 Over the past two school years, young people and their champions have said that their personal wellness is in a fragile state. We know that this has affected school communities – including students, staff, and families – on many levels. School leaders deeply understand the needs of and […]

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Detroiters search for missing students

by: Natalie Fotias | Oct. 4th, 2021 The fall of 2020 was a back-to-school season like no other. It had been nearly six months since the COVID-19 pandemic had altered our daily ways of life, including shuttering schools. Few children returned to the classroom that fall, with the majority of school districts and parents opting […]

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New poll finds Michigan voters demand investment in kids

by: The Skillman Foundation | Sep. 20th, 2021 Nearly two-thirds of Michiganders say they would support increasing public funding for children and youth to counter inequities and the effects of pandemic-related ills, including disrupted learning and impaired mental health (anxiety, depression, ADHD), according to findings of a new poll commissioned by The Skillman Foundation and Michigan’s Children.  The survey of 800 likely general election voters across every region in the state revealed deep concerns […]

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What Michiganders want: Investments in children

Three children are pictured in black and white with a teal, dark blue, and yellow patterned background. They stand next to a pot filled with coins and a small seedling.

by: The Skillman Foundation | Sep. 20th, 2021 Michiganders expect more investment in children. 62% support Even if it raises their taxes. 58% support Across every region of our state. Top Concerns Kids falling behind in school because of the pandemic Kids living in households that struggle to afford basic needs Exposure to trauma in […]

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Wellness Works Update: Grant Funding Awarded to Youth-Serving Partners

by: Ashlee Schmidt | Sep. 14th, 2021 In June, The Skillman Foundation announced its Wellness Works Initiative, pledging to grant $3 million toward wellness programs and activities for Detroit youth, educators, and youth-service providers. The Initiative is partially supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley […]

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Angelique Power: Designers of our own destiny

by: Angelique Power | Sep. 13th, 2021 And so we begin. Fall on the horizon. Leaves bursting into brightness. Sun stretching longingly across the tall buildings and lush backyards of Detroit. A sense of ending and beginning again simultaneously. Possibilities that come amidst change. Curiosity for what might be, palpable in the cooling air. Today […]

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Detroit Students Discuss Needs for Upcoming School Year

by: Council of Michigan Foundations | Aug. 30th, 2021 This post was originally published by the Council of Michigan Foundations. View the original post. As school districts across Michigan continue to grapple with how to safely welcome students back to classrooms this fall, a group of Detroit students ─ directly connected to our community of […]

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The Skillman Foundation’s 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference Session

Three children are pictured in black and white with a teal, dark blue, and yellow patterned background. They stand next to a pot filled with coins and a small seedling.

by: The Skillman Foundation | Aug. 24th, 2021 This year’s Skillman Foundation Mackinac Policy Conference session unveiled findings from a poll issued by The Skillman Foundation and Michigan’s Children. The poll finds that Michigan residents expect more investment in children. Across all geographies and demographics, voters expect their dollars to be put to work to […]

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Let’s Talk: School in 2021 & Beyond

by: The Skillman Foundation | Aug. 18th, 2021 Detroit students talk about what’s most important for the future of school. Lamont Satchel, Jr. (class of 2021 Detroit graduate) moderated a conversation with Mathias Neloms (middle school student) and Mosammad Jahan and Willyne Smith (rising seniors), members of our President’s Youth Council. They discussed what’s worked […]

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The Pandemic’s Impact on Kindergarten Enrollment

by: Ammara Ansari | Aug. 5th, 2021 What Does this Fall Hold for Children, Families, and Schools? This blog was co-authored with Walter Cook, a researcher with the Detroit Education Research Partnership at Wayne State University DERP (Detroit Education Research Partnership) at Wayne State University and the Learning and Evaluation team from The Skillman Foundation often […]

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Please stop saying “kids are resilient”

by: Natalie Fotias | Aug. 3rd, 2021 “Kids are resilient.” People usually express this as a prideful proclamation about the strength of the human spirit. I know this is the intention, but nevertheless, it comes across to me as a dismissal of child suffering and the responsibility adults have to protect and guide young people. […]

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