12/06/2011 05:40 pm ET

Detroit Public Schools To Offer Extended Holiday Classes In 22 Schools

A total of 22 Detroit schools will remain open during the holiday break to provide academic and other services to students, Detroit Public Schools announced Tuesday.

DPS is calling it the Holiday Learning Fest. In addition to extended learning opportunities, the district will offer free meals and food baskets to students. Seven of the district's parent resource centers will also offer parenting workshops. The holiday school sessions are sponsored in part by the Office of Food Services and will last for six days, following Christmas (Dec. 27-29) and New Year's Day (Jan. 3-5).

"During the break, we know that many of our children could benefit from a continuation of academic opportunities that serve as supplemental or remedial," said Karen Ridgeway, DPS superintendent for academics. "We also know that, in these difficult financial times, many of our children will not receive the adequate nutrition they normally receive through the DPS Office of Food Service."

All DPS students currently receive free breakfast and lunch, thanks to a subsidy from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Jennifer Mrozowski, executive director of communications for DPS, said the decision to offer additional learning time to students emerged from a series of conversations between the district's administration and academic departments.

"It's an enormous undertaking as you can imagine, but the district felt it was an incredibly worthwhile and almost necessary thing, so we decided to do it," she said.

Mrozowski could not provide an estimated total cost of the program, but she said student meals and meal support staff will be paid for through federal funds from the Child and Adult Food Program At Risk Afterschool Program. United Way of Southeast Michigan and Gleaners will pay for parent meals and food baskets, and teachers working the extra six days will be paid with money from Section 31a of the State School Aid Act.

DPS has put a call out for hundreds volunteers to help with the endeavor. The district is especially interested in volunteers to help with activities for their Volunteer Reading Corps and Business Corps.

To volunteer, call 313-873-7490 or email

The schools to remain open are:

Bennett Elementary, 2111 Mullane
Beard Elementary, 840 Waterman
Beckham Academy, 9860 Park Drive
Bow Elementary-Middle, 19801 Prevost
Central High School, 2425 Tuxedo
Clemente Academy, 1551 Beard
Cody, 18445 Cathedral
Coleman A. Young Elementary, 15771 Hubbell
Communications and Media Arts High, 14771 Mansfield
Detroit City High, 13141 Rosa Parks
Detroit School of Arts West (DSA) Langston Hughes Campus, 19501 Berg
Dixon Educational Learning Academy, 8401 Trinity
Dossin Elementary-Middle, 16650 Glendale Street
Durfee Elementary-Middle, 2470 Collingwood St.
Harms Elementary, 2400 Central
Keidan Special Education Center, 4441 Collingwood
Marcus Garvey Academy, 2301 Van Dyke
Northwestern High, 6050 Linwood
Osborn Evergreen Academy, 11600 E. 7 Mile
Phoenix Elementary, 7735 Lane Street
Priest Elementary-Middle, 7840 Wagner
Sampson Academy, 4700 Tireman

Seven of the district's eight Parent Resource Centers will be open, offering workshops for parents. They are:

Central High School, 2425 Tuxedo
Osborn High School, 11600 E 7 Mile Rd
Marcus Garvey Academy, 2301 Van Dyke
Priest, 7840 Wagner
Cody, 18445 Cathedral
Phoenix Elementary, 7735 Lane Street