(Senate - June 06, 2000)

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[Page S4562]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


 Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, in May of 1990, the Second Grace 
United Methodist Church of Detroit and the First United Methodist 
Church of Northville collaborated to ``adopt'' a Detroit Public School, 
Dixon Elementary School. On June 16, 2000, the two churches, one 
metropolitan and one suburban, will celebrate the tenth anniversary not 
only of the Adopt-a-School Program, but also of their unique 
relationship. I rise today to commemorate this occasion.
  The primary emphasis of the Adopt-a-School Program is the mentoring 
plan. Adults from both of the churches, as well as the local community, 
provide tutoring and role modeling for the students. In addition to 
weekly one-on-one sessions, the mentoring plan also includes a 
toastmasters club, in which students practice speaking in front of 
audiences, and a great books program, which introduces students to 
famous books and authors.
  In its ten years, the program has experienced continual expansion, as 
additional activities have been added for the students. There is an 
awards dinner each year at Second Grace to recognize students who have 
attained high levels of academic achievement. Christmas and Easter 
parties are held each year, as well as the Dixon School Spring Cleanup 
and Flower Planting Day. Church members also participate in school 
functions, including career day and musical programs. Finally, what 
began as a summer field trip has evolved into monthly Saturday field 
trips for the mentors and their pupils.
  Mr. President, the partners are pleased with how the Adopt-a-School 
Program has developed in the last ten years. The program has touched 
the lives of over 300 students at Dixon Elementary School, and there is 
no measure for success like that. The partners look forward to its 
continued development in the coming years. In addition, efforts will be 
made by the two churches, along with Dixon Elementary School, to 
develop a training program to share the Adopt-a-School program with 
other faith-based communities interested in serving our children in 
urban schools.
  Mr. President, I applaud the efforts of the many people whose hard 
work over the last ten years has made this birthday celebration 
possible. Each year, when the partners renew their commitment to this 
program, it is a testament to the bridges that can be built when people 
simply reach out to one another. On behalf of the entire United States 
Senate, I would like to wish the Adopt-a-School Program a happy 10th 
Anniversary, and continued success in the future.