Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (Photo by: michronicleonline.com)

By Branden Hunter

On March 2, the City of Detroit will host its first week of “Saturdays in The D,” a new youth enrichment program that offers a variety of free classes focusing on life skills, academics and physical activity.  The program is available to any K-12 student who lives in Detroit.

The program will offer classes on Saturdays through June 15, ranging from stage and studio production to martial arts, swimming and weight training, conflict resolution and SAT preparation.  In addition to the youth activities, parents and guardians of students enrolled in the program will be able to take classes in financial literacy, conflict resolution, computers and GED preparation. The three locations are Marcus Garvey Academy, Mumford High School and Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern.

“We are strengthening our commitment to Detroit youth by introducing Saturdays in the D as a City program,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Like our youth employment program (GDYT), Saturdays in the D will help prepare our young people for a stronger future.”

Saturdays in the D is run by the Community Education Commission through its GOAL Line program, in partnership with the City of Detroit, Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority.  The Saturday enrichment program was first created by Jimmy Settles when he served as UAW-Ford Vice President.  Settles brought the concept with him to the City when Mayor Mike Duggan tapped him last year as the Group Executive for Neighborhoods.

“It has been my desire to help young people ever since my early days in the automotive industry,” said Jimmy Settles, City of Detroit Group Executive for Neighborhoods. “I am especially elated that I can continue my commitment to helping Detroit youth through this program and even expand it to Detroit’s east side with a third location.”

“The Community Education Commission is excited to announce our newest initiative – Saturdays in the D. It’s all about our babies, making sure they have safe and enriching activities to do on the weekend,” said Monique Marks, Community Education Commission Chairperson. “We are grateful that Jimmy Settles did not let this program end when he transitioned over to the Mayor’s Office. When he and the Mayor told us about the program, we saw it as a natural fit and an opportunity to extend our GOAL Line program across the city.”

How the program works

Classes offered will include: academic games, chess, conflict resolution, culinary arts, dance, etiquette, hip hop dance, intramural sports (basketball & soccer), journalism, martial arts, music, poetry, SAT preparation, sewing, DJ spin class, stage production, studio production, swimming, survival cooking, theatre and weight training.

The classes take place at three locations: Marcus Garvey Academy, Mumford High School and Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern.  Classes will run from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., with participants taking three classes each week.  Free breakfast and lunch also will be served.  Organizers say the program will serve up to 900 students across the three locations.

The grand finale of the program includes a Saturday in the D Experience Day at each location on June 15, where students celebrate and highlight what they have learned during the program.

How to enroll in Saturdays in the D

To sign up for the enrichment classes, students and their parents or guardians should come to one of three enrollment fairs scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16.  Preference will be given to students who sign up at the on-site locations. The fairs are:

Marcus Garvey Academy | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Mumford High School | 9 a.m. – Noon
Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern | 9 a.m. – Noon

Online registration begins Monday, Feb. 18 on the GOAL Line Web site at www.goaldetroit.org.

For more information about Saturdays in the D, go online to www.goaldetroit.org, send an email to saturdaysinthed@detroitmi.gov or call (313) 236-8521.

This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle.  

City of Detroit launches Saturdays in the D to provide free enrichment classes for Detroit youth

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