Since opening its doors in 2015, S.A.Y. Play is revitalizing and empowering one of Detroit’s most-challenged and underserved neighborhoods.
Situated on nearly 15 acres in the Osborn community in northeast Detroit, the facility was formerly an abandoned City of Detroit recreation center until it was targeted by S.A.Y. Detroit to become a motivational learning center for Detroit youth with academics as its cornerstone.
- A 2,500 square-foot digital learning and tutoring center, equipped with latest computer tech and science lab (The D.E.E.P.). Dow’s STEM Ambassadors program and Cooper Standard’s STEM Accelerator program offer tutoring, science demonstrations, and career information.
- FIRST Lego Robotics room
- Recording Studio (through Notes for Notes® National Program) to develop music talent
- Individual study rooms
- State-of-art football field and indoor practice facility by the Matthew Stafford’s Score 7 Foundation
- Fully-equipped baseball field (stands and scoreboards)
- Full-sized soccer field & lacrosse field
- Detroit Pistons basketball court,r dance studio, workout room
- Outdoor athletic fields, when not in use for programmed activities, will be available for use to the general public
We know a huge problem in Detroit is that kids have too few places to play or study after school. This is a reason they fall behind in academics and sometimes get in trouble. We also know that for both boys and girls, there are few motivational tools better than a good gym, workout rooms and playing fields- plus the chance to meet big time athletes.
This is a tremendous opportunity to impact our city’s young people, and make a change for the better, in their educational experience, best preparing them for college, jobs and whatever else lies ahead in their future.
The City of Detroit did much better this year by maintaining more than 300 parks this past summer, but still lacked the resources to address facilities as large as Lipke. Thanks to this partnership, and with the support of the surrounding Community, young people in Detroit will have a place to learn and play that is beyond anything our city has had before.
—Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
The Lipke Rec Center had been an anchor in the Van Dyke and Outer Drive community for decades and has served three generations of youth. Having it sit vacant over the last year and half has been very hard on the surrounding neighborhoods. Having worked with the Mayor and 3rd District constituents on reopening Lipke Park, I am excited to see this facility being brought back to life as an athletic and educational campus for our Detroit youth.
—Councilman Scott Benson (Dist. 3)
This is a quality of life issue for us. It gives our kids a safe and healthy place to play in our neighborhood.
—Karen Washington, Chairperson of the Board of We Care about Van Dyke/7 Mile, neighborhood organization
- Due to budget cuts, Detroit has had to close nearly all of its recreation centers, leaving its children with few options after school
- Also due to budget cuts, Detroit Public Schools has eliminated a huge number of once-traditional afterschool activities, leaving students with few options
- Research shows that from third grade to high school graduation, time spent after school doing homework, improving academics and growing socially are harbingers of college and career success. Those harbingers are shockingly scarce right now in the city of Detroit
GoalsS.A.Y. PLAY CENTER
- Increase academic performance, attendance and graduation rates, by offering sports as reward for study
- Increase job-readiness by working with students on social, self-esteem and professional presentation skills
- Increase community engagement through a multi-purpose recreational facility
- Save a neighborhood from an abandoned, blighted building
- Provide a safe, well-lit, state-of-the-art learning center for homework in the after school and early evening hours
- Engage Detroit kids with one-on-one tutoring unavailable in school system
- Create a first-class multipurpose facility that serves the academic, social and physical fitness needs of underserved youth – and provides a positive after-school, weekend and summer destination
- Offer top athletic facilities and engagement with pro athletes to young people ages 8 to 18 willing to maintain a GPA and school attendance that bolsters their chances at graduation, college and employment opportunities
- Partner with professional sports teams and high-profile personalities, the Center will work with local school systems to identify kids needing help and monitor their success