By Sarah Shurge – In 1997, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, created a foundation with a specific goal in mind. This goal was to help “bridge the digital divide” for the benefit of disadvantaged kids whose circumstances might affect their ability to get a good education.
Inspired by his father’s words: “Sports are great, son, but your legs will give out someday. Get an education; no one can ever take that away from you,” Jackson wanted to make a difference for underserved kids and support schools that are doing exceptional work for these children.
Jackson, nicknamed “Mr. October” created the Mr. October Foundation for Kids (MOF) over 20 years ago in order to do just that.
For the last six years, MOF has teamed up with STEM101 (The STEM Academy), a national non-profit organization based in Park City, Utah.
The STEM Academy, Inc. has developed a middle and high school STEM curriculum and is dedicated to advancing economic development by improving STEM literacy for all students.
STEM generally stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in those four specific disciplines.
STEM101 has created individual “Skill Kits” for students that can be used at home or in any learning environment. These kits are built to develop skills and highlight career pathways for long-term effects. Students can also earn portable credentials that can be shared with mentors or future employers.
Since 2014, MOF has been funding STEM101 in schools across the country and now in greater Detroit.
Wayne-Westland Community Schools have partnered with Eastern Michigan University and the Mr. October Foundation to bring STEM101 to three of our middle schools: Adams, Franklin and Stevenson.
They donated 110 STEM kits to the middle school students this spring. A STEM101 summer camp is being sponsored for the 4-8 grade students. Also, they will be providing opportunities for the middle school students this fall as one of the community partners.
If you want to learn more about the Mr. October Foundation, you can visit the website at mroctober.org.
If you want to learn more about STEM101, you can visit the website at stem101.org.