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DPS program aims to keep kids learning over the holidays

Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio

The Detroit Public Schools is trying to make sure students stay up-to-date on their academics over the two-week holiday break.                                                              

The idea behind the Holiday Learning Fest is to keep kids learning part-time over the break.

18 schools have opted to participate in the program. One is Beard Elementary in southwest Detroit, which focuses on young kids from pre-K through first grade.

Teacher Ann Crowley says once her school found out about the program, they clamored to get on board.

“We have 65 children registered to be here,” Crowley says. “So it’s really an incredible program to keep the children touching base with the academics during the two weeks.”

Crawley says at Beard, retired teachers and other community members have volunteered their time to help her and other teachers staffing the schools.

More than one-thousand students have registered for the program, though it’s unclear how many will participate.

Karen Ridgeway is the District Superintendent of Academics. She says the idea is to keep kids in a more relaxed academic mode over the two-week break—with a focus on their individual needs. Some could need remedial help, while others might just need refreshers.

The schools will also provide supplementary services: feeding kids lunch, sending home food baskets, and holding parent workshops. Two schools will also host community health clinics.


Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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