Lear Corporation, Detroit Public Schools team up for comprehensive new three-year Student Tutoring Program to strengthen educational pathways and lifelong learning Roy Roberts plans corporate involvement conference for late summer to seek partners for all schools

DETROIT, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- One hundred East English Village Preparatory Academy high school students will travel four days each week to neighboring J. E. Clark Preparatory Academy beginning this fall under an innovative paid tutoring program aimed at raising student achievement and supporting successful transitions to high school. The three-year, $1.5 million project, jointly developed by the schools' principals, district academic leadership, Lear Corporation and partners, is being funded by Lear Corporation. The program will annually involve several hundred children on both sides of the tutoring equation. The partnership additionally will address computer resources at Clark, provide mentoring by Lear executives to the schools' principals and support neighborhood efforts to improve the physical environment around the schools.

The announcement was made today at a school assembly on the final day of the 2011-12 school year with students, teachers, partners, district and Lear leadership and community members present. Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy S. Roberts announced plans to organize a corporate involvement conference by late summer aimed at attracting other corporate partners and expanding existing partnerships to similar levels as part of the DPS Business Corps. Lear, a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical power management systems founded in Detroit and based in Southfield, is listed as #189 on the Fortune 500 List of companies, with $14 billion in sales and over 100,000 employees at 207 facilities in 35 countries.

"This is an opportunity for us to build upon existing successful programs at Clark and to bring a tutoring initiative to full scale to be most effective, while providing a link to lifelong learning for the high school and elementary-middle school students as well," said Lear CEO Matt Simoncini, who graduated from DPS' Clark Elementary.

Simoncini will hold a seat on the school's new Parent Advisory Council on Student Achievement, a key component of the new Detroit Public Schools 2012-13 Academic Plan, "Higher Standards for All" with the student at the center of a wrap-around service model. The new project directly aligns with the Academic Plan's Four Core Strategies including building strong relationships with students, families, and the community to increase trust and shared responsibility.

Under the program, high school students will receive community service credits as well as payment for their tutoring service. Lear and the schools will partner with a financial institution to open bank accounts for direct deposit, and financial literacy programs will be created for the students.

High school student tutors will be interviewed before being given a placement and will be provided a job description and requirements through a process to be coordinated by EEVPA Principal Patricia Murray. Once selected, each tutor will need to be trained in instruction techniques and expectations. The program will include transportation between Clark and EEVPA and the DPS Office of Nutrition will provide nutritious snacks and refreshments.

Clark Principal Demond Thomas said, "The goal of our campaign is to make a lasting difference by changing the culture of our community.   We believe that with the right messaging, partnered with positive experiences and exposure, and the support of influential members of our community, we can create a culture where ALL school-age children are inspired to become life-long learners, college graduates, and ultimately productive citizens."

Roy Roberts said, "I have said from the moment I took this position that corporate and organizational support is critically important to making a difference in DPS, and many have expressed an interest in joining our effort. The active commitment of a corporation with the stature of Lear speaks strongly to what we expect to materialize quickly from other Tier One suppliers, automotive and manufacturing industry giants, health care and financial institutions and others." Roberts' first employment after college, lasting 17 years, was in the Aerospace Division of Lear-Siegler in Grand Rapids, MI, serving in a variety of positions in engineering, plant management, materials management, manufacturing, sales, personnel and labor relations.

Additional attendance incentives and neighborhood initiatives within the Morningside Community will be developed. The Morningside community is targeted by Habitat for Humanity for housing rehabilitation, and the Clark School stage where DPS and Lear officials stood Thursday is the same location where General Motors Chairman and CEO Daniel F. Akerson announced a $1 million personal gift for the community redevelopment efforts in February.

DPS' East English Village Preparatory Academy will open this fall, with current Crockett and Finney 10th-12th grade students matriculating to the new voter-approved, bond-funded $46.5 million, 221,000-square-foot high school being constructed at the site of the former Finney High School. The new school will feature eight science laboratories, a high-tech media center, a performing arts section, and an athletic complex with a community health clinic. All incoming 9th grade students must complete an application to attend, hold a minimum 2.5 grade point average, and undergo an interview with the Admissions Committee.

About the DPS Business Corps

The mission of the DPS Volunteer Business Corps is to create robust partnerships between schools and area businesses and community organizations to improve academic achievement in schools throughout the district. Each partnership is unique, because it is designed by the partner organization in conjunction with the school's principal or designee. Together, schools and their partners are developing programs that specifically address each school's needs. For information on how to get involved, call the office at (313) 870-3799 or e-mail: businesscorps@detroitk12.org

SOURCE Lear Corporation



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