Tag: Detroit literacy

Southfield Students to Receive Literacy Boost in Partnership with Rep. Lawrence and Jewish Community

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Ensuring young students receive the proper tools to be fully literate by the end of the third grade is of utmost importance to school districts across Michigan. Per a study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who were not proficient in reading by that time, were four times more likely to drop out of high school than those who were proficient readers.

Committed to ensuring Southfield schoolchildren have a strong chance of success, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, who, herself, is a former Southfield Public School Board president, has launched the “Brenda Lawrence Educational Initiative,” a literacy tutoring program in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC (JCRC/AJC) and Southfield Public Schools.

Said Congresswoman Lawrence, “I am so proud to be a part of this critical initiative that brings together our community to help improve the educational trajectory of our children. It is of the utmost importance that we provide our students with the support they need to succeed in school and gain the confidence to know that they have the ability to achieve anything.”  

Through the Initiative, several metropolitan area synagogues will be providing congregants to serve as literacy tutors to students in kindergarten through the third grade in Southfield. Each congregation, including Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Young Israel of Southfield and Temple Emanu-El, will be assigned to a school, with volunteers conducting tutoring sessions virtually for the time being.

Said Charles Hicks, Southfield Public Schools Board of Education president, “I appreciate the partnership and collaboration between the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC and the Southfield Public School District. We must do whatever we can to mitigate any literacy loss as a result of challenges that arise as a result of the pandemic. Together, we can do what is in the best interest of our most valuable stakeholders … our children.”

Added Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC Executive Director Rabbi Asher Lopatin, “According to the 2017 results from the National Assessment of Education Progress, Michigan ranks in the bottom third of states for fourth grade reading. For our organization, it is imperative that we give our local schoolchildren a chance for a bright future beginning at an early age. It is an honor for us to partner with Congresswoman Lawrence and Southfield Public Schools, as well as volunteers from throughout our community, on this important project.”

JCRC/AJC has a long history of literacy advocacy. For more than 10 years ago, the non-partisan nonprofit has served as the administrator for the Detroit Jewish Coalition for Literacy, an umbrella organization that seeks to increase the Jewish community’s involvement in the fight against illiteracy. In non-pandemic times, the group mobilizes and trains volunteer readers, tutors and book drive organizers who serve thousands of students in programs established in Detroit Public Schools and public schools throughout Oakland County.

For more information and to get involved, contact Sandy Lippitt at slippitt@jfmd.org.

JCRC/AJC’s mission is to represent the metropolitan Detroit Jewish community, Israel and Jews throughout the world to the general community, and to establish collaborative relationships with other ethnic, racial, civic and religious groups. JCRC/AJC educates and advocates on important issues, seeking consensus with a commitment to Jewish values. For more information visit www.jcrcajc.org.

For more than 70 years, Southfield Public Schools has served families from birth to 12th grade and beyond. The district, operating 14 schools, serves nearly 6,000 children in the cities of Southfield and Lathrup Village. Preparing innovative learners for a global society, Southfield Public Schools is one of 28 public school districts in Oakland County

Workshop Trains Tutors on Milestones of Language Development

“Milestones of Language Development in School Aged Children,” is the subject of the Detroit Jewish Coalition for Literacy’s (DJCL) spring workshop for literacy tutors on Friday, May 11, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Max M. Fisher Federation Building in Bloomfield Hills.

Designed to provide tutors with skills and techniques to build student success, the workshop will feature Suzanne Potter, M.A. ccc-sp., a Speech Language Therapist. Potter is Facilitator of “Play with a Purpose” and Early On Parent Groups at Oakland Schools, and is a 36 year veteran of Royal Oak Public Schools.

At the workshop, Potter will provide resources and strategies to help students who struggle with reading. She will discuss how to support literacy for students through the five building blocks of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension.

Founded and facilitated by the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC (JCRC/AJC), the DJCL engages volunteers from local Jewish organizations, impacting kindergarten through fourth grade students in schools in Detroit and Oakland County through tutoring, and enrichment programs and book drives. The DJCL conducts training workshops and provides resources for its volunteer tutors. JCRC/AJC board member Sue Birnholtz chairs the DJCL.

To register for the May 11 workshop, or to learn more about DJCL volunteer opportunities, contact Literacy Coordinator Sandy Lippitt at 248-642-2649, slippitt@jfmd.org.