Southfield (CW50) – Detroit is a city whose community has worked tirelessly to improve its educational systems, for many years. The Skillman Foundation has been the voice for the children of Detroit for more than 50 years, with a focus on strengthening the city’s K-12 education, after-school programs, and college pathways.

Skillman Foundation​’s focus is not on helping children beat the odds; rather they seek to change the odds for Detroit kids, by giving them the support and opportunities they need to achieve their highest aspirations. Tonya Allen, President and CEO of Skillman Foundation explains that beating the odds means seeing young people who live in less than satisfactory conditions make it through the educational system, while changing the odds means making sure every child has the same access and opportunities to succeed, not by chance but by design.

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Community Connect Guest Host April Moss, with Tonya Allen, President and CEO of Skillman Foundation

Tonya Allen joins guest host April Moss on Community Connect to discuss the opportunities ​that  Skillman Foundation ​offers to the children of Detroit, and why improving the city’s educational system is so important.

Through their investment in K-12 learning, Skillman Foundation uses the common indicator of third-grade literacy because it is an academic milestone, at which point children should advance from learning to read, to reading to learn. In 2019, fewer than half of Michigan third graders scored as reading proficiently, and in Detroit, fewer than 16% achieved the level of proficiency. This is why Skillman Foundation collaborates and funds organizations and programs such as Brilliant Detroit, Teach 313, Hope Starts Here, 313Reads!, and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, to improve the quality of education in the city.

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The foundation doesn’t just work to improve the academic standing of Detroit’s kids, but looks to improve their skills through out-of-school learning opportunities in the community. This is done through collaboration with their community partners and leaders.

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