October 9, 2018

DETROIT— The Detroit Lions and City Year Detroit today announced the awarding of a $100,000 grant to fund a City Year Detroit team for the 2018-2019 school year at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. Detroit Lions President Rod Wood has also joined City Year Detroit’s executive board.

Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary-Middle is a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school in the Fitzgerald neighborhood on Detroit's west side and during the 2017-2018 school year, less than 10 percent of students were proficient in math and English language arts. City Year Detroit aims to bridge the gap that many students face when additional support is needed and even the best teachers and administrators don’t have time or resources to provide.


“As the Detroit Lions, we have a responsibility to use our platform to effect positive change in our community,” said Wood. “Education has long been a focus of our community relations initiatives and we are honored to work with an organization like City Year Detroit that has a proven track record of improving student performance. It’s also a personal privilege of mine to further our support by serving on their executive board.”


The 2018-2019 school year will mark City Year Detroit’s third year at Bethune. There are currently nine City Year AmeriCorps members working full-time in the school, all aged 18-25. City Year programming partners with teachers in selected schools to work in the spaces that exist between student need and what the infrastructure can provide. Every AmeriCorps member is trained to give individualized attention to kids and lead school-wide initiatives that help to promote a positive culture. Statistics show that schools with City Year are up to two to three times more likely to improve on English and math state assessments and gain approximately one month of additional learning in English language arts and math.


"We are incredibly grateful and excited for our partnership with the Detroit Lions,” said City Year Executive Director Andrew Stein. “We know all children can succeed, and support from organizations like the Lions provide us with the opportunity to continue our work of keeping Detroit students in school and on track."

City Year Detroit grew by 20 AmeriCorps members this year for a total of 91 and partnered with an additional three schools for a total of 10 DPSCD school partnerships, supporting over 6,500 students each day. City Year Detroit's goal over the next three years is to have 140 AmeriCorps members in 14 DPSCD schools, supporting over 10,000 students.


About City Year:

City Year helps students and schools succeed. Fueled by national service, City Year partners with public schools in 29 urban, high-need communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and South Africa. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide research-based student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A 2015 study shows that schools that partner with City Year were up to two-to-three times more likely to improve on math and English assessments. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at

About Detroit Lions: 

The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit. The team located to Detroit in 1934 and are the National Football League’s fifth oldest franchise. The Detroit Lions most recently made the NFL playoffs in 2016, when they finished with a 9-7 record. In addition to professional football, the Detroit Lions have a very visible and active community relations role in the Detroit area. With a focus on health and wellness and community revitalization, the Lions have contributed $6.2 million through philanthropic efforts since 1991. For more information, visit