Detroit high school to get major makeover thanks to Arab American Service Day volunteers


Ceiling tiles fall regularly at several classrooms in the Detroit Institute of Technology (DIT) at Cody High School (Detroit Public Schools). Click here to see more "before" photos of the school.

12th Annual Service Day to include dozens of Arab American-led projects across the country

DETROIT—A group of 400 community volunteers and students from five Dearborn and Detroit high schools will undertake a major renovation of Detroit Public Schools' Cody Rouge High School and a nearby park for National Arab American Service Day on May 14, 2016.

Service Day, now in its 12th year, is a project of the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC). The Arab American-led initiative includes thousands of volunteers and dozens of projects across the country from planting trees and beach clean-ups to serving the homeless and organizing clothing drive. Annually, over 2,000 people in communities from New York to California, and from Texas to Illinois, participate to give back to their neighbors and local communities.

The local project—led by ACCESS, the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the U.S., in partnership with The Greening of Detroit—includes interior remodeling and beautification of the Detroit Institute of Technology (DIT) at Cody Rouge High School and nearby Stein Park. Volunteers will be repairing drop ceilings in classrooms, installing bathroom doors, painting, refurbishing outdoor courts, planting a community garden and a butterfly garden, cleaning up debris and building a walking path.

WHO: National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) in partnership with The Greening of Detroit

WHAT: Detroit Public Schools high school makeover for Arab American Service Day

WHERE: Detroit Institute of Technology (DIT) at Cody Rouge High School and Stein Park

18445 Cathedral St, Detroit, MI 48228

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Our goal for this project is to create a safe school environment, inside and out, and help instill in students a sense of pride for their school,” said Rachid Elabed, ACCESS Community Engagement Specialist. “With the motto of ‘Serving Communities, Connecting People,’ Service Day is truly representative of the Arab American community and its commitment to giving back.”

”The Greening of Detroit has worked with Cody DIT students and faculty for several years to develop gardens and healthy green spaces on campus and at Stein park, including planting trees and the installation of a large bioswale project,” said Trish Hubbell, director of The Greening’s Community and Public Relations. “We look forward to partnering and participating in this upcoming project.”

National Arab American Service Day is about fostering a culture of leadership and community engagement through service and volunteerism. Under its motto of “Serving Communities, Connecting People,” Service Day brings together diverse groups and individuals for one shared goal: responding to their community’s needs. As a project of NNAAC, Service Day has engaged more than 12,000 volunteers for hundreds of service projects since 2005. For more information, visit


About the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)

The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a program of ACCESS, is a national consortium of 25 independent Arab American community-based organizations. Its mission is the development of Arab American community-based nonprofit organizations that understand, meet the needs and represent the concerns of Arab Americans at a local level while collectively addressing those issues at a national level. NNAAC leads the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, a multi-year, grassroots campaign that strives to address issues of bias and challenges the growing discrimination and persistent misconception of Arab and Muslim Americans, including refugees.

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