The purpose of this project to make it possible to provide afterschool transportation for Detroit students to facilitate their participation in our combined athletics and academics program.
This new afterschool program is for low income kids in southeastern Detroit. Grant proceeds will be used to partially cover the cost of setting up a shuttle service for the program which will involve purchasing a van and hiring a part-time driver. For the first year pilot this program will shuttle kids between Detroit Cristo Rey High School (5679 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209) and the gym CrossFit at the D (150 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226).
TEAM-CrossFit Detroit the start-up afterschool fitness program initially geared toward teens (age 13 to 18 years) living in the inner city and attending one of Detroit’s middle or high schools. TEAM acronym stands for Teens, Education, Athletics, and Mentorship - which reflect the main objectives of this structured, intensive, outcomes-focused youth program. teamcfd.org or https://newmanb4.wixsite.com/teamcfd
Desirability - Detroit Cristo Rey High School (CristoRey) serves many students in the Michigan Central Station Impact Area. This project will therefore facilitate students in this and later the greater Detroit area to take join in this valuable afterschool program. www.detroitcristorey.org/
Feasibility - CristoRey students already participate in a work study program which provides transportation via vans shuttling to job sites. This proposal will expand the use of vans to allows students transportation to the afterschool program. Due to CristoRey’s already extensive experience in setting up van services and managing personnel, it is anticipated that this new service will be accommodated relatively quickly (i.e. < 2 months).
Viability - CristoRey has a tradition of getting local businesses to sponsor its programs. It is anticipated that once this program is up and running and can demonstrate its positive impact on success of the students, the program will attract many sponsors.
Physical Fitness & Academic Achievement – Numerous studies, some cited below, the show new research literature supporting the connection between physical activity/physical education and cognitive performance.
Dismal test scores have recently been released for Detroit public schools. The numbers show that not only are few Detroit public school students proficient in reading and math, but there has been no improvement over the past decade. Currently, only 7% of eighth graders are proficient in reading (Chen, 2019).
Such poor performance can only be solved by attacking the underlying problems. Over thirty-four percent (34.5%) of Detroit residents live below the poverty line (Press, 2018). Nearly 1 in 3 of children in Michigan are obese. However, while obesity is an issue for all American youth, the problem is even greater in low income communities due to the lack of access to recreations, parks and full-service grocery stores. In fact, the Michigan Department of Agriculture has labeled 19 Detroit neighborhoods as a “food desert," which is a term used to describe an urban area that lacks accessibility to quality and affordable food. These factors greatly increase the likelihood of obesity within these Detroit communities.
Research shows that two-thirds of parents living in communities of concentrated poverty have a difficult time finding an enriching afterschool environment for their children. This is worsened by challenges presented by affordability and transportation to the limited options available.
Multiple studies (Grissom, 2005) (Han, 2018) (Toit, Pienaar, & Trutter, 2011) have shown that there is a significant correlation between physical fitness and academic achievement. Students with higher levels of physical fitness tend to have higher academic performance in core subjects such as reading, mathematics and science. The high percentage of low-income children in Detroit and the related barriers to physical fitness are undoubtably a contributing factor to the poor performance of Detroit school children.
CrossFit is a workout program that first swept the nation and now the world with over 13,000 affiliate locations. It emphasizes safe effective exercises and good nutrition. CrossFit Detroit (CFD) is a state-of-the-art CrossFit workout location in downtown Detroit that opened in 2015. It is a rare resource as there are currently just literal handful of affordable public gyms in the 143 square miles of Detroit.
CFD is therefore in a unique position to create TEAM as an afterschool startup organization to help disadvantaged Detroit youth. The TEAM-CFD program will sponsor after‐school, weekend, and summer activities at the CFD facility.
The program will provide coaches and tutors with four main objectives:
- Physical Fitness
- Reading Improvement
- Self‐esteem & Strength of Character
- Educational Goal Attainment – high school and college graduation