DETROIT, Mich., January 29, 2013 – Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School students, teachers, and partners joined with community leaders today to honor Bob and Ellen Thompson for their vision of greater educational opportunity for Detroit students and the investment of the Thompson Educational Foundation in Public School Academies of Detroit’s newly opened Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School. Through the generosity of Bob and Ellen Thompson, Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School’s nearly 360 students and their twenty-five teachers have a state-of-the art facility designed for teaching, learning, and community engagement with a gymnasium and stage for gatherings and performances. Throughout the building iPads, SMART Boards, and other technology personalize learning.
Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School is preparing students to read, write, and do math at or above grade level, engaging all students through project-based learning, equipping students with design thinking as a process for innovation and creativity, and providing a strong foundation in art and design. Supporting student success at the new school are small class sizes, a welcoming faculty with certified and highly-qualified teachers, a dedicated support staff and committed partners.
“Detroit cannot have a future if its children do not have a future,” said Robert M. Thompson, chair, Thompson Educational Foundation. “Ellen and I are proud to be a part of Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School which will make a measurable difference in the lives of Detroit youth by providing a pathway to college and careers.”
By transforming the former Duane Doty School, a 1908 historic Arts and Crafts building, into a Thompson Foundation 90/90 School with high expectations for academic and personal achievement, a reclaimed treasure is once again providing educational opportunity and serving as an anchor for the greater Boston-Edison area, one of the City of Detroit’s focus areas for long-term stabilization.
“We are grateful to Bob and Ellen Thompson for their commitment to education in the City of Detroit, and specifically for the opportunities that they are providing to families of Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School, which strives to be a catalyst for change in its neighborhood,” said Curtis Lewis, Ph.D., founding principal of Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School.
The school, which opened in September 2012 with students in grades kindergarten through five, is part of the Thompson Educational Foundation’s more than $100 million investment in Public School Academies of Detroit (PSAD), which is serving more than 3,000 students during the 2012-2013 school year. They include students at Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies, University Preparatory Academy Schools, and University Prep Science + Math Schools, which are all located within the City of Detroit. All PSAD schools, which are authorized to operate by Grand Valley State University, share a commitment to providing an educational program that graduates at least 90 percent of ninth-grade students and sends at least 90 percent of graduates to college. Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School is developed and managed by Henry Ford Learning Institute, a non-profit organization founded by Ford Motor Company Fund and The Henry Ford in 2003.
Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School is based on the nationally recognized model first implemented at Henry Ford Academy in Dearborn, Mich., which opened in 1997 through a partnership between Ford Motor Company, The Henry Ford and Wayne RESA. It is recognized by Excellent Schools Detroit as a top high school serving families from Detroit.
“Bob and Ellen Thompson’s investment in Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School is critical to the development of creative thinkers and innovative problem solvers who can make positive contributions to our city and our world in the future,” said Mike Schmidt, chair, Henry Ford Learning Institute and director of Education and Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “With the opening of Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School, we are serving families in Detroit with an aligned K-12 education system of Henry Ford Academies focused on college, careers, creativity and innovation.”
Students who complete the 5th grade at Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School will have the opportunity to enroll automatically in the 6th grade at Public School Academies of Detroit’s Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies, an existing public charter middle/high school located at the College for Creative Studies inside the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education. Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School is tuition-free and academic ability is not a factor in admission. For more information, visit www.hfaelementary.org or call (313) 826-1159.
Contact: Lisa Kreinbring
Henry Ford Learning Institute
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