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FCA US takes hands-on role to enrich Detroit kids, revitalize neighborhoods

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FCA US is a reviving up its volunteer corps this summer to take a very active role in working with metro Detroit’s kids and reimaging and revitalizing neighborhoods.

On Friday, June 16 the automaker will host an event in Clark Park that merges fun time with work time. Volunteers will work with pre-K – 5th grade students on a variety of youth enrichment activities including one-one-reading, button making, temporary tattoos, cookie decorating, parachute games and soccer. They will all also remove graffiti, do some landscaping and work in the park’s community garden. The event runs from 9:15 to 11:45 a.m.

FCA US will also host several block parties. 

  • United Way Meet Up and Eat Up Block Party Parkman Library, 1766 Oakman Boulevard, Wednesday, June 21 from 3 to 6 p.m. FCA US will help United Way of Southeastern Michigan spread the word about free summer meals available around the Detroit metro area. These family-friendly events also include activities like face painting, games, music and a tasty lunch.
  • Beaudette Park, 786 Orchard Lake Road, Pontiac Saturday, June 24, from 1 to 4 p.m.  
  • Madison Elementary / Rosie’s Park, 27107 Hales, Madison Heights Wednesday, June 28, from 3 to 6 p.m.  
  • Joseph Walker Williams Recreation Center, 8431 Rosa Parks, Detroit, Tuesday, July 11, from 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Jimmie Paul Boxing Gym, 5620 E. 7 Mile Road, Detroit, Thursday, July 13, from 3 to 6 p.m.

One of the biggest events for kids was the third annual Big Bike and Book Giveaway held earlier this month.

Bike riding is a hallmark of childhood, and it’s never too early to kick start a love of reading. FCA US made sure 150 kids had both experiences.

Elementary and middle school students received new bicycles, helmets and children’s books at the event. These were not gifts, but rather earned. They were given out to students who improved in school.  Specifically, they got better in one or more of the ABC’s (Attendance, Behavior and Course Performance).

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The event brought together by FCA US, Communities In Schools of Metropolitan Detroit (CIS) and Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC).

“We are delighted to again partner with CIS and DECC to celebrate the achievement of Detroit’s elementary and middle school students through the ‘Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day,’” says Lesley Slavitt, head of Civic Engagement, FCA US LLC and CEO of the FCA Foundation.

Students chosen to receive a new bicycle, helmet and books were selected by CIS, which provides education and community resources to help students successfully learn, stay in school and continue the path to graduation.

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FCA US provided the bikes, helmets, books and 50 employees through its Motor Citizens volunteer program. DECC, which has helped establish miles of new bike lanes throughout the city, provided safety instruction to the new riders.

“I know my daughter (Talayah) is going to ride the bike around our neighborhood every day after school,” wrote Tanikka Mabene in a thank-you note to FCA US. “I am thanking you not only for myself but on behalf of every parent and student that was able to receive one of the bikes. We greatly appreciate what you are doing for the students at Hamilton Academy!”

The schools that participated this year are Brewer Academy, Detroit Enterprise Academy, Fisher Magnet Lower Academy, Hamilton Academy, Ronald Brown Academy, Timbuktu Academy of Science and Technology, Marquette Elementary-Middle School and Wayne Elementary School.

Since 2015, the FCA US “Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day” has recognized nearly 900 Detroit students.

“This great event is another example of the dedication to community service that drives FCA employees to volunteer,” says Slavitt.

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