Learn & Act
As you prepare to march, we encourage you to LEARN about Equity in Education, and use what you learn to inform what you will march in support of. Then as you ACT by marching, you can spread the word about what you’ve learned, and what you’re passionate about!
Of the almost 50 million children in the United States, ages 0 to 5, just under 50,000 of them are here in Detroit. These children are future business, nonprofit, and political leaders; teachers, public health, and public safety professionals; artists; community builders; influencers; and future parents. But many of their prospects are compromised by inadequate healthcare, food, and education.
Half of Detroit’s children live in poverty resulting from the generational wealth barriers of structural racism and oppression. Overcoming these barriers requires investment into businesses, infrastructure, and systems, but also into the children so that they get the head start they deserve.
Head Start is a federal program having promoted school readiness for over 37 million children of caregivers with low income through educational, nutritional, health, social, and other services for almost 6 decades. This doesn’t include the millions more aided through Early Head Start or Michigan’s Great Start Readiness Program. The results are promising. Children who receive high-quality Early Childhood Education are more prepared academically for later grades, more likely to graduate from high school, and higher earners in the workforce.
Over the past 5 years, Focus: HOPE has served more than 2,000 children and their families, providing high quality instruction, nutrition, social interaction, health, and family connection services. Our state-of-the-art Center for Children and critically acclaimed early learning program features leadership development for parents, Doula and breastfeeding support, and high kindergarten readiness of our students. We boast one of the highest rates of Black men employed as teachers and leaders in the region because representation matters. Parents of our students are intentionally represented in our workforce, some of whom having advanced from high school graduates to postgraduates with our support, now lending their perspective as program administrators. We are proud of our work. But we can do more with your help.
What To Know & How You Can Help
- Access—Due to limited funding, there are not enough slots to assist all children needing service. Early Childhood programs are primarily funded by the state and federal governments and any increase in slots requires their approvals.
- Enrich the Experience—Donate supplies or volunteer your time to read to or play with our students.
- Broaden the Scope—Gains made in preschool are lost when children end up in low performing schools. Lawmakers can fund extensions of early learning supports through at least 3rd grade.
There can be no change without education followed by action, so through your participation in the march, you will play an important role in taking steps toward the vision of Focus: HOPE’s founders - opportunity for ALL, and a community where ALL people may live in freedom, harmony, trust, and affection.