Sunday, April 24, 2011

Catherine Ferguson Academy

Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit is a rare, and amazing school for pregnant teens and young women who are already moms. It provides a public high school education with a 90% graduation rate, getting most girls into college. That alone, in the city of Detroit, sets them apart in the education system. They are also using vacant Detroit land to farm, teaching the girls skills that will help sustain them nutritionally and potentially financially (MI is after all an agricultural state). State appointed financial manager Robert Bobb wants to close Catherine Ferguson this summer because of budget cuts.

OK, a 90% graduation rate in Detroit. Getting most of those girls (single moms remember) to college. Teaching them good nutrition which by my calculation will reduce future chronic disease and help curb health care spending (that is a national priority isn't it? Or do we just want to cut medicare / medicaid cause it's too costly?). Bringing agriculture to an urban environment that has very little access to fresh, healthy food. Improving the local food supply to reduce the reliance on oil. And giving these girls the skills to potentially make a living, and to contribute to a local economy. Oh, and reducing potential dependence on food stamps, welfare, unemployment.

What idiot could possibly think closing Catherine Ferguson is sound economics?

View a film trailer about Catherine Ferguson Academy

'Grown in Detroit' trailer of award winning documentary from Mascha Poppenk on Vimeo.