Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Students design a future Detroit
April 25, 2011
By Jonathan Oosting |  

Mayor Dave Bing isn’t the only one with a plan to radically re-imagine Detroit. Earlier this year, seventh-grade students at Paul Robeson-Malcolm X Academy on Detroit’s northwest side competed in the National Engineer’s Week Future City Competition, presenting their vision of the Detroit they’d like to inherit. Detroit Public Television and reporter Desiree Cooper produced an excellent feature on the students and their teacher, Derek Sale, which aired this weekend on the national PBS program “Need to Know.”

Check it out in the video player above.

Note: Robeson Academy is one of the schools targeted by Detroit Public Schools’ Renaissance 2012 Plans, which will either close the school or convert it to charter in the upcoming school year. This means the students involved in this project may not be going to the same school next year. And since the school brought together Robeson and Malcolm X last year for some students it could be their third school in three years. Creating and maintaining friendships for life is challenged, as is the ability to accept and trust new friends.

The opportunity to get a solid education with school mates that you learn and grow with is an essential part of childhood development. Many DPS youth are living in households that are at less than poverty, so when they come to school having something stable to work with is very important. 

Consider on top this the interest in shrinking Detroit - how many more moves and shattered friendships will our youth endure in the next few years? Encourage the young people in your life, listen to their concerns and know their friends are limited being wiped out by city planning.


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