Teach for America Detroit helps bust blight

Aspiring teachers help with urban education

DETROIT - No matter where a child grows up they deserve equal access to a great education and Teach for America is making sure that every child across the country is getting that kind of education, especially right here in the city of Detroit where 200 new teachers are doing community service work getting ready for the new school year.

School may be out for the summer, but for these teachers their work is just beginning.

"They are out in the community, learning about the lives of their students, actually being immersed in our neighborhoods and figuring out what it's going to take to be that teacher that's going to be transformational for kids, not just in the classroom but bringing everything into their work as well," said Annis Stubbes, executive director of Teach for America Detroit.

Stubbes' members spent Thursday busting blight in the city. More than 50,000 recent college graduates and professionals from across the country apply to Teach for America each year. Only 5,000 are accepted.

"We are a non profit so we raise all the funds for our people to be here ... help pay for their graduate school coursework at University of Michigan or Oakland," said Stubbes.

It's a win-win. The aspiring teachers get their teaching certification and graduate classes paid for while students in urban and rural communities -- across 47 regions -- have access to better education, including 70 schools right here in Detroit.

"I was a DPS student all my life and being able to give back sometime later is really important to me and I'm really glad to be here," said Philip Lewis, Teach for America corp member.

This weekend they will be heading to Chicago to finish up their training for the summer, but they will be back for the start of the school year making a total of 400 teachers in the city of Detroit from Teach for America.

For more information go to TeachForAmerica.org.

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