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NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge Program
Detroit, MI
Partner Since 1999

NetDay Supports Detroit Public Schools
NetDay began working with the Detroit Public Schools in 1999, as part of an aggressive project to provide empowerment zone communities with the technology infrastructure and equipment necessary to bridge the digital divide. When the goals of connectivity and equipment acquisition were met, the emphasis shifted to helping teachers and students realize the power of technology to enhance and improve education.

Community Profile
In the 1950s, Detroit was the center of the industrial and automobile boom with more than two million residents. The city’s population has declined to less than one million, and the city grapples urban poverty, crime and lack of jobs. In the 1990s, Detroit was designated as a federal Empowerment Zone. The number of residents living in poverty declined from 32% in 1990 to 20% in 2000, and unemployment dropped from 17% to 7%. Over 80% of the city’s citizens are African American, and Detroit is widely recognized as a national center for African American culture.

NetDay Difference
In 2001-2002, NetDay launched the NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge Program in four public schools: Edmunson Elementary (preK-5), Murray Wright High School (grades 9-12), Detroit Day School for the Deaf, and Poe Development School serving special education students with physical and cognitive challenges. Twenty AmeriCorps members, under the direction of Project Coordinator Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson worked in the schools with teachers and students, serving as program facilitators, teaching constructive and educational technology-based programs during school hours, and through after school programs.