Detroit Children’s Fund Announces Philanthropic Support From Arn and Nancy Tellem

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Arn Tellem, Nancy Tellem // Courtesy photos

The Detroit Children’s Fund has announced that board member Arn Tellem and his wife Nancy Tellem have made a $100,000 contribution to support Detroit Children’s Fund’s School Collaboration Collective. Their donation will fund the implementation of new curriculum at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.

Tellem represented Jalen Rose as a basketball player, and Rose is now founder and board president of the academy, a nonprofit charter high school on Detroit’s west side.

“Jalen’s leadership in founding the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in inspiring,” says Tellem. “Nancy and I are proud to lend our support to JRLA’s initiatives because, like Detroit Children’s Fund, we are committed to creating greater opportunity for Detroit students through a quality education.”

The donation strengthens the long-standing support from the Pistons organization to the academy. Tom Gores, owner of the Pistons, has been a longtime supporter of the school, providing financial and other assistance to the school, including support from Platinum Equity, his investment firm.

The academy is one of four schools recently selected to participate in The School Collaboration Collective (SC2), a program designed and funded by Detroit Children’s Fund (DCF). The collective, a comprehensive partnership between the fund and participating schools, is focused on supporting these schools to become among the best in the state. The program is designed to take a holistic approach at school improvement, providing hands-on support to the schools as well as the foundational resources that are critical for learning.

In addition to the instructional training and in-classroom coaching for their teachers, educators will participate in best practice visits to high-performing schools across the country and will receive computers, textbooks, updated curriculum, and other foundational tools that all students need to support their learning.

Rose saw the need to provide more quality education opportunities after seeing children attending underperforming high schools in Detroit. He started the academy in 2011 alongside entrepreneur Michael Carter. Since then, nearly 1,000 students have enrolled at the academy. The school has a 94 percent graduation rate with 100 percent college and post-secondary acceptance.

“How we teach kids must change with the times. It’s important that schools have the resources and support they need to meet students’ needs,” says Jack Elsey, executive director of Detroit Children’s Fund. “We feel very fortunate for Nancy and Arn Tellem’s generosity. Their contribution comes at the perfect time as it will allow us to support the Jalen Rose team to make their school even better for students.”

Detroit Children’s Fund is a nonprofit organization that makes investments to expand schools, improve lower performing schools, and discover and develop talent educators in an effort to improve Detroit education.

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