Chrysler Elementary School of Journalism named one of the 25 Coolest Schools in America by Parent & Child Magazine

Chrysler is one of only two schools in Michigan to hold the honor;Published student authors highlighted; Writing scores have leapt from 48 percent to 86 percent; Student engagement and confidence has increased

Chrysler students published their 13th book in June titled, “Chrysler Elementary Presents: Bullying Hurts Everyone.”

Parent & Child Magazine released today, August 20, its ranking of the Coolest Schools in America, selecting Chrysler Elementary School of Journalism as one of 25 schools across the nation to hold the honor.

The schools are featured in the August/September issue of the Scholastic publication for having found “ways to engage students, families and communities inside the classroom by thinking outside the box.”

Chrysler Elementary, a K-5 program that has a focus on writing in all academic areas and is widely known for having published student authors, is one of only two schools selected in the state of Michigan.

The full listing of schools, as well as a description of the Chrysler program—affectionately titled, “Pride of the Community”— can be viewed at

Featured as an inspiring model for all, the description of the Chrysler program presented by Parent & Child Magazine states:

“Published authors and exhibited artists walk the halls of this school every day. They’re the students here, who are benefiting from Principal Linda Whitaker’s dedication to showcasing their accomplishments. In an effort to boost students’ writing skills and engagement, Whitaker decided that education needed to become more tangible. So she reached out to the community, and now local instructors and artists (including Rosa Parks’ nephew Asheber Macharia) collaborate to provide instruction on writing and the arts, while parent fund-raisers and community donations ensure that students see their work validated in print or framed at the nearby Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Significant gains in achievement show that it’s working: Writing scores leapt from 48 percent to 86 percent, and student engagement and confidence is through the roof.”

Chrysler students published their 13th book to date on June 12, 2012 titled, “Chrysler Elementary Presents: Bullying Hurts Everyone.”

The book publishing program has been in effect since 2008. With each book, a group of students from the same grade level will work collaboratively to write the material for the book. “Bullying Hurts Everyone” is a collection of third-grade essays.

“Our writing scores have gone up tremendously since the program was implemented,” said Linda Whitaker, who was principal of Chrysler when the award was designated. “This has become a part of their everyday curriculum. When we’re asking them to describe something that is relevant in their lives—like bullying—it makes it easier for the students to use descriptive language skills, which enhances their overall writing skills.”

Whitaker said the students have won numerous contests for their work and the program has boosted their self-esteem.

Chrysler Elementary is one of nearly 100 DPS Schools that will be open during the ALL-DPS Schools Open House and Alumni Celebration on Saturday, August 25 as part of Detroit Public Schools’ most expansive Back-to-School enrollment campaign to date.

The campaign features a brand new DPS Week, which kicked off with Church Sunday on August 19; the Dressing of the Spirit of Detroit Statue in an authentic “I’m In” DPS t-shirt on Aug. 20 and will remain in the signature blue shirt through Sept. 4; Taste of DPS Multicultural Expo Aug. 21; an expanded Back-to-School Parade Aug. 22; and a Back-to-School/Stay-in-School event with the Detroit Branch NAACP and Black Family Development, Inc. on Aug. 24.

The All-DPS Schools Open House and Alumni Celebration will feature immunizations, ribbon-cuttings at three brand new schools and thousands of School Readiness giveaways.


The week kicked off with DPS Church Sunday – August 19
25+ faith-based supporters spread a positive back-to-school message!

Dressing of the Spirit of Detroit Statue – held on Monday, August 20
Spirit of Detroit Statue: Dressed in an authentic “I’m In!” T-shirt August 20 – September 4.

Taste of DPS Multicultural Day – Tuesday, August 21
Participants can enjoy foods, sights and sounds from various cultures representing DPS! The event will be from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Davison, Earhart, Gardner and Garvey.

DPS/Comcast Back-to-School Parade, downtown – Wednesday, August 22
ALL DPS schools will participate in the Back-to-School Parade, presented by Internet Essentials from Comcast, downtown, and coordinated by The Parade Company. It will include the DPS All-City Marching Band, alumni marchers, school step teams, parent marchers and more! Step-off is 11 a.m. at Grand Circus Park, Woodward at Adams. Limited backpack vouchers and uniform vouchers from Forman Mills will be passed out and redeemable at the All-Schools Open House!

 Detroit Branch NAACP-DPS-Black Family Development, Inc. Back to School/Stay in School Education Day – Friday, August 24 
Hundreds of students will receive school supplies, food, and entertainment from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  at Delores Bennett Park in the New Center area.

All-DPS Schools Open House and Alumni Celebration – Saturday, August 25
All schools will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with giveaways, opportunities to meet staff, program showcases, and more! A “DPS Pride” incentive will be available for the first 1,000 alumni at schools!

Internet Essentials from Comcast is serving as the presenting sponsor of this year’s events, and additional support is being provided Forman Mills, Office Depot and Sodexo.

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