August 13, 2014 at 1:00 am

Anonymous donor endows $500 scholarships for new Detroit school

Detroit— Every ninth-grade student enrolling in a new southwest Detroit school will receive a $500 scholarship, thanks to an anonymous donor.

The donor’s pledge is to assist recruitment at the Academy of the Americas High School, and demonstrate support for the program. Detroit Public Schools, which is opening the bilingual English/Spanish school next month, is announcing the scholarship program Wednesday.

“I don’t know if this donor is a local professor in international studies or one of our extremely supportive community leaders or a complete stranger,” said Nicholas Brown, Academy of the Americas principal.

“But I do know that this donation will help us to support a stellar bilingual immersion high school program that can lay the academic foundation for the next generation’s successful college graduates, leaders in world affairs, ambassadors and international entrepreneurs. We are very grateful for this support for our students.”

The scholarship criteria:

■Students must enroll in AOA’s inaugural ninth-grade class;

■Students must graduate from the school with a 2.5 GPA;

■Students must enroll in a college or university after graduating.

Enrollment is projected to be 182 students in the 2014-15 school year, and about 500 students once all four high school grades are added.

District spokesman Steve Wasko said the school will be housed in an existing building, with an exact location to be finalized soon.

“Southwest Detroit is a growing community and this rigorous program has been well designed by both educators and residents to reflect not only their needs but the growing global society that their children and students across Metro Detroit will face,” Wasko said.

Detroit Public Schools is expanding the Academy of the Americas pre-K to 8 school to include ninth grade this fall at the new site, to be called the Escuela Preparatoria Academia de las Americas. It will offer a dual language curriculum, honors classes and rigorous academic standards, the district said.

The new school is part of several educational initiatives in southwest Detroit, including a new adult education site, and a gifted and talented program, among others.

Among the new programs:

■A new adult education center. Beard Southwest Detroit Adult Education and Early Childhood Community Learning Center, 840 Waterman, will house a new adult English language learner program for Spanish and Arabic and a pre-kindergarten curriculum.

■A new fifth grade at Maybury Elementary School, 4410 Porter. Maybury now houses pre-K to fourth grade and offers a dual language immersion program, yoga, a new golf program, music and more.

■A new gifted and talented program at the Mark Twain School for Scholars, 12800 Visger. Twain will offer an international curriculum, art, band, choir, sports, foreign language and accelerated classes.

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