Established in 2015, Brilliant Detroit—an organization dedicated to building “kid success neighborhoods”—is growing.
Brilliant Detroit provides a radically new approach to kindergarten readiness in neighborhoods and create a unique delivery model for early childhood development by repurposing and renewing underutilized housing stock to create early child and family centers in neighborhoods. Brilliant Detroit homes—complete with signature orange-colored front doors—provide holistic services for children ages 0-8 predicated on evidence-based programs around health, family support and education.
In each location, neighbors come together for fellowship, activities and learning to assure school readiness and provide needed support for families. It is opening its signature orange-colored doors to a new community hub, a place for families to gather and learn year round through proven programs, activities and support, so families with children 0-8 have what they need to be school ready, healthy and stable.
Now, on June 10, 2019, a 2,000-square-foot home located at 16919 Prairie St. in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, is Brilliant Detroit’s seventh home to open in the city. It underwent the most transformative rehabilitation than any other Brilliant Detroit home. Humble Design, a nonprofit that transforms houses into a warm, welcoming and uplifting home, put in the final touches of furniture and décor throughout.
“This home, like all of our others, is built with, for and by the neighborhood. We are honored to have been invited into the Fitzgerald neighborhood where parents and families are helping to drive the change they need as a community and for themselves and their children,” said Cindy Eggleton, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Detroit. “Sometimes families don’t have the tools, convenience and access that is needed. Brilliant Detroit is providing that, all in one location.”
This is the third Brilliant Detroit home to open this year. By year’s end the organization will open another four, bringing the total number citywide to 11 sites citywide.
Brilliant Detroit recently hosted an open house and block party, offering families the opportunity to tour the Fitzgerald home, meet with other families in the neighborhood and learn about programs and activities offered.
Representatives from the Urban Land Institute and Live6, as well as Detroit District 2 Manager Kim Tandy and a representative from Councilman Ray McCalister Jr.’s office, joined Eggleton and other Brilliant Detroit staff and board members to welcome the more than 300 families from in and around the Fitzgerald neighborhood that attended the festivities.
Adults and children alike enjoyed arts and crafts, face painting, a bounce house and trackless train rides, music and dancing and grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and other fun fare.
They also participated in a nutrition workshop and were introduced to one of Brilliant Detroit’s programs called Raising A Reader. This literacy-driven program allows children to bring home a bag filled with books and exchange them for new ones weekly. It also trains parents how to implement home-based literacy routines to engage their children.
Eggleton added, “It is well documented that approximately 86 percent of Detroit’s third-graders are not reading at grade level. These children will struggle academically and throughout their lives without intervention. We can and must do better for our children.”
In just under four years since the organization was established, Brilliant Detroit serves more than 4,000 people, has 85 partners and more than 1,300 volunteers. In 2018, the organization delivered more than 32,000 hours of evidence-based programming.
Before and after photos of 16919 Prairie St. courtesy of Brilliant Detroit.