Detroit Achievement Academy: Opening An Amazing Charter School in Detroit

We have created what we believe will be the greatest free public school in the city of Detroit! We need your help to open this fall.


Our students are going to change the world.

But we won't be able to open our doors without your help. 

As a free public school, we don't receive our state funding until November, so this fundraiser will create the bridge to allow us to open our doors and operate until then. 

Read below for more information about how crucial your contribution is to our school and to learn more about the incredible amount of good that we can ONLY do with your help.

Why we need your help:

  • Detroit Achievement Academy is a free public school and is therefore funded by the great State of Michigan. 
  • The State doesn't send us our first (small) piece of funding until November.
  • But our first day of school is in September.
  • It costs a bunch of money to start and run a great school until November!

What we will use the money to do:

  • STAFF. We will pay our teachers, administrators, and classroom assistants.

  • FACILITIES. We will pay our rent and utilities bills.

  • CLASSROOM MATERIALS. We will buy desks, pencils, and joyful, print-rich learning aids to hang in our classrooms.

Pretty simple, right? We will certainly have plenty of other startup costs, but we have used our business and negotiating chops to structure them to fall after we begin receiving state funding or when we are likely to receive various other grants. Essentially, we are only asking for what we absolutely need in order to be able to open our doors to our students this fall.

Here are the basics about Detroit Achievement Academy: 

  • We are starting with 50 Kindergarten students and 50 1st grade students. We'll add a grade level each year; our students move up and we will take new classes of Kindergarten.
  • We will be located on the northwest side of Detroit, in the Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhood.
  • We have all approvals and authorizations to operate as a school.
  • Our authorizer is Grand Valley State University. They are nationally respected for the success of their schools. 


But we aren't starting a school to do things
the way that they are currently being done. 


Here is how we are different: 

  • Our Principal, Sharon Yaecker Roesser, is seriously incredible. She has 12 years experience in education as a teacher, a social worker, and school leader in schools in New York City and Detroit. Essentially, her life's work has been removing obstacles for students and families as they move along their paths toward their own hopes and dreams.
  • Our curriculum, Expeditionary Learning, is project-based, with learning standards focused on the Common Core. Schools that use Expeditionary Learning outperform other schools in their district by 12%. A study done in NYC found that EL schools "closed the gap" in English Language Arts for African-American, Hispanic, and low-income students and English language learners.
  • We will feed our students three balanced meals a day. We believe that our students should know what they are eating, from where it came, and how and by whom it was grown. DAA will use food as a tool to teach everything from geography to social studies to math.
  • We will have a full-time Director of Family & Student Support, who will coordinate services and assistance to our familes, facilitate community meetings, and generally serve as an advocate for our families and neighborhood.
  • We will have heavy amounts of community programming. It is a top priority for us to be a part of the fabric of our neighborhood and community.
  • We will foster our visual and performing arts program and use it to enrich our school culture and our daily classroom activities. 
  • We believe our students deserve to learn from experts. Every Wednesday at 1:30pm, our students will be released from their classes to a Master Class. During this time, our classroom teachers will meet, plan, and collaborate. Our students will then receive a lesson and complete projects with experts from a wide range of industries. Our Master Classes will include everything from a introduction to code and programming to Aztec dance to saving seeds from vegetables. We believe that exposing our students to both cutting edge and traditional practices and ideas will empower them as they create their own path, with their own interests and talents. 

What you get for helping us out:

We want to show you how much we appreciate your help, so we developed some fun perks for our donors! 

Like our Thank You Art. The balloons will be fingerprints from the first day of school.

And our Seed Packet. These seeds will be the same seeds we use in our classrooms, in our gardens, to send home to families, etc. They will come from the various seed cooperatives in Detroit and other southeast Michigan farmers.


And of course, our DAA T-shirt. These will be what our students wear (though often with long sleeves) and our friends have been asking for them since they saw the smaller versions. We would love to see them on our donors!


And, our most coveted piece of DAA gear, the DAA Sweatshirts. These are soft, cozy, and will be exclusive to our Indiegogo backers. That's right, these are awesome AND limited edition.



We can't wait to have you all involved with Detroit Achievement Academy!  Check out ALL the ways you can help on the right!

We can't wait to send you your thank you gifts. 

Thank you for helping us open our school!


Have a question?

E-mail us at hello@detroitachievement.org. We will respond as fast as we can (likely with lots of smiley faces and exclamation points.)


Video and Perks Credits:

We had the absolute honor of working with some talented folks as we prepared our fundraising campaign.

All DAA Perks were designed by the amazing AME Atelier.


Dante Marshall, The Art Direction, Executive Producer

Ryan Burbank, Director of Photography & Post Production

Adrian Champion, Brand New Classic, Director & Producer

G'Oni Jones, Director of Photography

Team on This Campaign: