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Donations To Restore Arts, Sports Programs In Detroit Schools

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – More than $500,000 in donations and fundraising will restore music, art and sports programs in elementary and middle schools in Detroit.

The funding was announced Friday by the Detroit Public Schools district, the United Auto Workers union, Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. and the Ford Motor Company Fund.

It’s a onetime infusion of cash to get programs started by next month.

“On the arts and music side of things, all Detroit elementary and middle schools in Detroit Public Schools that have not had an arts and music program will have an arts and music program beginning this year,” said DPS spokesman Steve Wasko. “On the athletic side, all students and grades K to eight will be afforded an opportunity to participate in a sport at their school.”

The UAW-Ford National Programs Center will provide $355,000 to support the initiative, the Ford Motor Company Fund will contribute $125,000 and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation will give $60,000. The program is expected to cost $1.2 million a year.

The UAW-Ford center also has adopted 25 district buildings and will provide assistance such as uniforms and volunteers.

Wasko says the district still needs to come up with another $700,000 to keep the program in place beyond this year.

“We’re working with other partners, and we’re working to ensure  that we have some sources of non-general fund funds within the existing DPS budget to keep this going as well,” Wasko said.

Parents are being sent letters Friday with details on how to register their kids for the various programs.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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