District gets funding for computer lab

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – A summertime donation that allowed for classroom improvements was recognized by the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education last week.

During its regular meeting Oct. 10, the board recognized Ford Motor Co. for donating $25,000 during the summer to the Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology for improvements to the school’s computer lab, which was ready in time for the 2011-12 school year.

“I know Ford gets a lot of requests to fund a lot of projects,” Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston said. “So we thank you for your commitment to helping us improve schools.”

Executive Director of the Dearborn Education Foundation Eddie Fakhoury presented a plaque and a hand-blown bowl made by the Glass Academy in Dearborn to Michael Schmidt, director of education and community development for Ford Motor Co. He said the donation allowed the district to replace 22 computers in the school’s lab. He said students and teachers are happy with the new computers, and the students’ productivity has also increased.

“As a long-standing member of the Dearborn community and a long-standing supporter of Dearborn Public Schools, it’s great to renew our partnership,” Schmidt said. “We are really committed to preparing students for success in college and in a global economy.”

Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. also thanked Schmidt for his contributions.

“(Schmidt is) one of the premier architects of a lot of great programs Ford has sponsored,” he said. “He’s been a real advocate for education related to the real world.”

Schmidt said the partnership between the schools and the automaker will also allow the Ford Volunteer Corps, a group of over 20,000 current and former employees, to continue to share their work experiences with the students.

Board member Aimee Blackburn said having workers speak to students and share their insights is an invaluable experience.

“I know several students at the DCMST that have done internships and have partnered with the people at the Ford Motor Company,”she said. “It is a very valuable experience and I don’t think it’s something that’s taken lightly.”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)