By Ron Dewey

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — Former NFL star and Detroit native Jerome Bettis Thursday morning toured a new, $21.8 million city school with a group of parents.

They got a look Thursday morning at the Mackenzie pre-kindergarten to 8th grade school. The building opens in the fall and was

bettis tours school Former NFL Star Bettis Tours New Detroit School

(WWJ Photo/Ron Dewey)

constructed on the campus of the old Mackenzie High School where Bettis starred.

“It’s a sense of accomplishment to have come out of the city of Detroit and to had success,” said Bettis.  “But it’s really important to be back here helping out the next generation.“

The new Mackenzie is one of three schools completed in time for the 2012-13 school year. The work is part of a $500.5 million capital improvement program.

Bettis announced a $15,000 donation Thursday to support parent engagement in Detroit from his “The Bus Stops Here Foundation.” The foundation was started in 1996 to help disadvantaged and underprivileged children.

“Our goal at ‘The Bus Stops Here Foundation’ is to impact change and help children,” said Bettis.  “By helping the parents we feel that there is a direct correlation in helping the children of my community where I grew up …”

The district will train over 400 parents from 89 schools as part of the council.  Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts praised Bettis.

“You have been an example for a lot of people in this community and across this nation,” said Roberts.  “If our young people don’t see it, they don’t believe it. “

Bettis played running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-2005.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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