Creator: Detroit Free Press
Subjects: Community Outreach
Description: An article in the Detroit Free Press entitled, "Novel Holley charter school to be extended". This article discusses the expansion of a charter school started by the Rev. James Holley.
Date: July 6, 2000
Original Format: Newspaper Clipping
Relation: Historic Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church
Contributor: Kamilah Stinnett
Transcript: Novel Holley charter school to be extended
-More scholarships also to be awarded, Detroit cleric says
By Roberta McCulloch
The Rev. Jim Holley, pastor of the Little Rock Baptist church in Detroit and founder of one of the city's first charter schools, plans to extend the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences through grade 12 by opening up two more schools.
What's more, Holley said he would give college scholarships to all students who graduate from the new high school from the profits of Country Preacher Foods, a company he began in the early '90s to create jobs in Detroit and raise money for scholarships.
"If a child can..see down the road in spite of their environment and living conditions, they know that they have a chance to educate themselves out of poverty," he said.
Holley said he hopes to be able to give full scholarships to the students.
Country Preacher grossed $2.2 million last year and contributed profits to the C.H.I.P. Foundation created by Holley eight years ago to handle the scholarships. Holley said awards ranging from $100 to $3,500 have gone to 83 students.
Holley's charter school on East Jefferson has had no trouble attracting students in grades kindergarten through six, even without the scholarships.
The school, which has a capacity of 840, attracted 2,00 applicants three years ago when it opened. "The waiting list has only grown longer," Holley said.
There are 173 charter, or independent public schools in Michigan, including 40 in Detroit, said James Goenner, director of the charter schools office at Central Michigan University.
Holley's two new east-side schools will fall underneath the present school's charter, Goenner said.
The first, St. Stanislaus Junior Academy, will open this fall in a former dentistry school at Medbury and Chene after undergoing $7 million worth of renovations. The maximum enrollment will be 600 students.
Negotiations are still under way for the senior academy, which Holley hopes will be located in an historical church in the Canfield-St. Aubin area. It is scheduled to open in fall 2001 with an enrollment cap 400. Renovations at that site are expected to total $3 million.
Holley said the funding to renovate both schools will come from state aid and loans.
Parents said they appreciate the original school's close students-teacher bonds, intimate learning setting and rigorous curriculum.
"The Detroit Academy for Arts and Sciences gives you a private education at a public school cost," said Londonne Jefferson, parent of kindergartner Taylor Jefferson.
Once the blue-and-white clad pupils reach the third grade, they receive a person computer, which allows them to communicate with teachers from home.