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Thursday, 4 February, 2010 2:16 AM

First Lady Yvette Bing joins the Detroit Reading Corps.

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Yvette Bing, the first lady of Detroit, addresses a crowd of 450 at the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel on Jan. 27, 2010.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- First Lady of Detroit Yvette Bing announced she will join the Detroit Reading Corps. and will help Detroit Public Schools students learn how to read. She announced the decision at the first lady's invitation-only luncheon inside the Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel on January 27. About 450 of the area's most notable women were in attendance. The event was hosted by the Mayor Dave Bing Inaugural Committee. Committee co-chairs Sarah Earley, Lisa Lewis and Loran Moten also spoke at the ceremony.

"Yvette Bing plans to be active and well received in the city of Detroit," said Rhonda Walker, emcee and anchor of the WDIV-TV Local 4 morning newscast. "I know that because I had some one-on-one time to spend with her for a couple of days back in July. She and I talked for quite a while and I've been seeing her socially, but I never actually had the opportunity to get to know her. I got to know a woman that was very classy, laid back, very down-to-earth, calm and collective. She was passioniate about a couple of things -- one was homelessness and the other was literacy."

The first lady spoke to the audience for about 30 minutes. She revealed information about her past -- including how she grew up in the Detroit Public Schools system.

"This is a new day for Detroit," First Lady Yvette Bing said during her speech at the luncheon. "A bright shining light for our city right now. The Bing administration plans on doing a lot of positive things for the city of Detroit. I hope with my husband's leadership and all the people can make this a regional effort, not just the city of Detroit. I decided to take on the reading corps., which is something that Robert Bobb has introduced to our city. We want some positive change and I think we will with the reading corps."

She also talked a little about her husband, who was inaugurated to a four-year term as the mayor of Detroit in the beginning of January.

"He's just a wonderful person," Bing said. "I think he's going to make such a big difference for the citizens of Detroit because his heart's in the right place. Dave's true agenda and mission for this term, I think just speak for one term at a time, he's going to do the best job that he can. He's here at the right time. One thing you must know about my husband -- he's going to give it 110 percent, I'm going to give it 110 percent."

Detroit Public Schools' Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb also spoke during the special invitation-only luncheon.

"The reading corps. will be successful in large measure because we have the top leadership of the city of Detroit," Bobb said. "Unlike me, she can relate more specifically to the needs of our community and its children from her own example of having lived here and having attended Detroit Public Schools. Last Saturday, at Renaissance High School, we made our announcement regarding this program. All of those persons who volunteer truly are champions for the children of Detroit."

Click here for more information on the Detroit Reading Corps.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

WDIV-Local 4 anchor Rhonda Walker introduces Yvette Bing during the ceremony.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Walker receives a hug from Yvette Bing.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"Reading is so fundamental to our students," Bing said. "When I heard that 52 percent of students are not reading at grade level, that was so unacceptable to me. I believe one of the reasons you are here is because you want to see a difference."

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"If you don't get your reading skills in pre-K through third grade, you're lost in the system," Bing added. "We're trying to get the children to read at grade level by the third grade."

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Bing said: "When I attended Wayne State University, I had teachers tell me, 'You're so bright, you're so smart.' I sat in the back of the class. I wasn't cheating. The Detroit Public Schools system allowed me to get an excellent education."

 

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