Thinking About Learning

Notes from Dearborn Academy

Dearborn Academy Receives $10,000 Challenge Grant for Fitness Studio

In August of 2012, Schools for Children and Dearborn Academy purchased the Crosby School Building, the building that Dearborn has occupied since 1983. 

After the purchase, one of the first big steps being taken  is to create a fitness studio for the students to promote more healthy lifestyles as well as provide a therapeutic exercise setting. Many students at the school are either on medication and/or have attention deficits and a variety of other emotional injuries and low self-esteem. These students would benefit greatly by having time programmed into their school day where they can get rigorous exercise.  Such focused activity has been well-documented to improve both students' performance in school and individual self-esteem, while also building healthier bodies.

This past summer, we identified a room, which had housed a 7,700-gallon oil tank, as a space that could provide such a setting.  The project involved the removal of that old tank, the creation of new doors into the space, and the addition of bright paint, new flooring, special ventilation and electrical work. Once completed, we will purchase and install commercial grade fitness equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical machine, spinning bike and weights.  The room will also be suitable for students to practice yoga.

The exciting news is that we have actually begun the work, as you can see in the photos below. We expect the cost of renovating and equipping the room to be right around $50,000. Through another successful and well-attended luncheon fundraiser in November, $20,000 in net proceeds has been raised and earmarked for the studio.  Since that time, we have received an additional $10,000 in monetary and in-kind gifts. 

The biggest news is that we have received a challenge grant from the John W. Alden Trust – one that will pay the final $10,000 of the project if the balance is raised by August 30, 2013.  This means that we must raise $10,000 by the end of August to receive the challenge grant and complete this important project.

Will you help us complete the fitness studio project by making a gift that we can count against the Alden match of $10,000? Thanks for partnering with us in creating new programming to promote better health and fitness within our student body.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact us at

Here are examples of what your gift can provide:

$3,500 – A professional-grade treadmill
$2,700 – A professional grade elliptical
$1,600 – Barbell/dumbbell weights w/ locking rack $500 – 25 lb.—50 lb. kettle bell set
$360 – 37” LCD-TV with wall mount
$125 – Heavy bag


The 7,700 gallon oil tank is removed, room is primed for construction.



A new doorway is added to allowing for two entrance/exits.  Custom doors will be installed soon. 



The brick wall facing east was plastered, brightening the room.  New HVAC equipment will be installed.

Keep at Top: