STEM Youth Literacy
Athletes for Charity, in collaboration with the Detroit Lions and Tata Technologies, joined forces to create an innovative STEM Youth literacy Program in two Detroit area schools: Clark Preparatory Academy and Dixon Educational Learning Academy. The program aims to improve learning outcomes and student interest in science, technology, engineering and math, while creating pathways to success in post-secondary education and 21st century careers.
“Our goal is to invest time and resources into the development of creative and effective approaches to STEM education,” said Cathleen Laporte, founder and president of Athletes for Charity. “Our partnership with Tata Technologies and the Detroit Lions represent an innovative way to fuse the nonprofit, corporate and sports sectors, to motivate students in the areas of STEM.”
The curriculum includes monthly book distributions by various Detroit Lions players, coordinated by Don Carey of the Lions, to deliver age-appropriate STEM-related titles to students. Introductions to STEM literature and careers is a recurring theme throughout the 10-month long program. Tata Technologies staff and various Detroit Lions players volunteer their time to serve as STEM Readers at every session.
Titles distributed as part of the literacy component include Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat Learning series for Pre-Kindergarten through 1st grades; Disney’s Wonderful World of Space, Earth, Dinosaurs, Nature, Animals, and Sharks for 2nd and 3rd grades; and the DK Pocket Genius series or Penguin Group’s Who Is…? or Who Was…? titles for 4th and 5th grades. The program features monthly vocabulary development and drawing contests for Pre-Kindergarten through 1st grades and essay contests for 2nd through 5th grades to help develop reading and comprehension skills.
Academic incentives for the students include tickets to Lions, Pistons and Tigers games; autographed items from local sports professionals i.e. autographed footballs, basketballs and baseballs; photos; t-shirts; etc.; LEGO and LeapFrog product to foster hands-on learning; as well as field trips to local science and educational institutions.
View video footage of our inaugural session at Dixon in September 2014:
Detroit Lions players Don Carey III, Rob Sims, Andre Fluellen, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Mohammed Seisay, Darius Slay, Darryl Tapp, Larry Webster, Tahir Whitehead, Nate Ness and Xavier Proctor have contributed mentorship, time and resources to support the STEM Youth Literacy Program in Detroit, MI. Additional supporters of the STEM Youth Literacy Program include The Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust and support from former athletes such as Detroit native Anthony Adams, a retired nine-year NFL veteran who most recently played for the Chicago Bears. Adams currently serves a as a host of Inside the Bears and Ambassador to Athletes for Charity.
Coming Soon: “STEM Youth Literacy – TAMPA” to be launched by Tampa Bay Buccaneers players Alterraun Verner, Kevin Pamphile, Patrick Omameh, and others.