Ford Foundation donates $10M to help get more kids to Henry Ford Museum

The Ford Foundation is giving Detroit students the chance to learn about the city's most iconic innovators and entrepreneurs as part of a $10 million donation to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.

"This is a historic moment in the history of our institution," said Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO of The Henry Ford.

Expanding the reach of a cultural gem and educational resource, The Henry Ford is a place that too often many Detroiters don't have access to because of a lack of resources.

"It is my great honor to announce that through a transformative grant for the Ford Foundation, The Henry Ford is launching the Ford Foundation Equity Initiative which will focus on accessibility and inclusion," said Mooradian.

"It's not just 10 million dollars, it's designed to support and encourage a more accessible, inclusive museum," said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation is making the $10 million grant possible which will help several groups including students from Detroit Public Schools Community District take part in programs offered at The Henry Ford  Museum, Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.

"The grant will ensure that every one of our 4th and 5th graders, about 8,000, come to the museum to see everything that's happening here," said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, the superintendent of DPSCD. "This is all about developing the whole child as a school district."

"One of our main priorities is to develop the whole child," he added.

DPSCD says what their students learn at The Henry Ford will also be part of what they learn in the classroom.

"This is not just a traditional field trip. We are incorporating lessons in our curriculum so we're building off of what students are exposed to before and after," said Vitti.

Members of the Ford family were on hand Tuesday for the announcement.

"Now there is an opportunity for all these young people to come and see all these wonderful assets at this absolutely sensational museum," said Edsel Ford II, the great-grandson of Henry Ford. "And I think it's an absolutely great opportunity."

"It is a game-changer for us at the museum. It will allow the institution to reach out to thousands of Detroit school children who would otherwise not be able to enjoy the wonderful resources we have," said Mooradian.