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Elementary School Alumni Group Helps Current Students Realize Their Potential

Detroit SchoolWhen most people think about Detroit Public Schools, they think about debt and the school district’s challenges with keeping students in school. However, a brighter subject that is often overlooked is the way that many educators, student, and members of the community are working toward a common goal: strengthening the schools and improving the quality of education that the students receive.

This effort to improve the school district has been going on since the 1990s. In 1996, alumni from an elementary school formed the Pasteur Elementary School Alumni Foundation in order to improve the lives of the students who currently attend the elementary school. They do so by providing books and funding field trips and scholarships for the students. Last year, the foundation sent 28 students and their parents to Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center. The trip cost was paid for with donations that were made to the school by alumni in 2011.

The members of Pasteur Elementary School Alumni Foundation do not only donate money to the school, they also donate their time. There are currently 231 members in the foundation and it has a database of 1,300 alumni. These alumni encourage students to stay in school by sharing stories of their own successes and how an education helped them achieve their goals.

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Charitable Donations to Colleges are On the Rise

It seems like 2010 was a good year for charitable donations to colleges and universes around the nation. In 2010, colleges and universities in the USA received $28 billion in contributions, which is 0.5 percent more than the schools received in 2009, according to the Council for Aid to Education.

The amount of support for higher education donated in 2010 was the same a it was in 2006, measured in total dollars. However, if the donations are adjusted to account for inflation, the donations fall by eight percent.

“We’re still not out of the woods,” said Ann Kaplan, director of the Voluntary Support of Education survey. “Charitable contributions to education are recovering very slowly.”

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