Athletes for Charity, Tata Technologies and the Detroit Lions have joined forces to expose Detroit Public School students to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), while also developing their skills in reading and writing.
"The demand for skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and math is on the rise while the availability of qualified applicants is on the decline because students are not pursuing degrees and careers within the sector," says Alisa Harewood of Tata Technologies, a global engineering services company with North American headquarters located in Novi, MI.
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.
Two schools have been selected for the inaugural launch of the STEM Youth Literacy Program: Clark Preparatory Academy—visited on September 9—and Dixon Educational Learning Academy. Representatives from Tata Technologies, Athletes for Charity and the Detroit Lions are set to visit Dixon on Tuesday, September 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"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," says Cathleen Laporte, founder and President of Athletes for Charity.
The curriculum will include 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 will be a recurring theme throughout the 10-month long program. Tata Technologies staff and various Detroit Lions players will volunteer their time to serve as STEM Readers.
Detroit Lions Safety Don Carey is a founding member of the program and serves as a liaison to the team and his teammates who have elected to volunteer for the initiative. Invitations have been extended to Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings players to join the team as STEM supporters.
Additional supporters of the STEM Youth Literacy Program include The Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust and support from athletes such as Detroit native Anthony Adams, a retired nine-year NFL veteran who most recently played for the Chicago Bears. Adams currently serves as a host of Inside the Bears.