Summer Discovery Programs Launch Enrollment Across Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties

Enrollment opens today for Summer Discovery, a free learning program reaching up to 22,000 K-8 students at over 100 sites in Southeast Michigan

Detroit, MI – April 9, 2024 – United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Ballmer Group Philanthropy are proud to announce open enrollment for Summer Discovery, an innovative program designed to provide free, high-quality summer experiences for kids in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. The initiative, made possible by a $47 million grant from Ballmer Group, provides instruction and enrichment activities tailored to current K-8 students during the upcoming summer. There are 22,000 seats available at more than 100 locations across the region. Schools and community organizations were recently notified of their selection as official Summer Discovery sites, and families can now enroll their children.

“This significant investment in student success can create real opportunities for families,” says Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We are so proud to partner with the Ballmer Group in this important effort.”

What Is Summer Discovery? Summer Discovery is a free, full-day summer program with academic and enrichment activities. Children will participate in a variety of exciting opportunities, from field trips to art projects, coding, figure skating, STEM projects, outdoor activities, and more!

“We are so excited that an unprecedented number of students and families will now have access to the quality enrichment and out-of-school programs that they need and deserve,” said Jametta Lilly, CEO of the Detroit Parent Network. “Access to quality out-of-school time is a longstanding issue for too many families and school districts.

Out-of-school programming is proven to help build social-emotional skills and expose children to new and creative ways to learn and think about their futures. We look forward to partnering with United Way for Southeastern Michigan in this wonderful summer of discovery where all our parents and children can soar!”

How Can Families Enroll Their K-8 Students? Enrollment is now open, offering opportunities for children to explore new subjects, enhance their skills, and have fun while learning. Families can take advantage of this free program by visiting the Summer Discovery website to see what schools or local community-based organizations (CBOs) will be hosting programs. Visit the Summer Discovery Site Finder to find your local site’s contact information.

Parents are encouraged to visit the Summer Discovery website for answers to general and eligibility questions and to see which summer enrichment activities are available in their area.

“We are thrilled to partner with Summer Discovery to offer our students an enriching summer experience. This program will not only prevent learning loss but also ignite their passion for learning,” says Dr. Abdullah Pehlivan, the principal of Michigan Math & Science Academy Dequindre, one of more than 100 recipients of a Summer Discovery grant. Thanks to the generous support from United Way and Ballmer Group, our students will have the opportunity to explore new horizons, build confidence, and create lasting memories.”

For media inquiries: Jerome Espy, (248) 417-9567,

About Ballmer Group
Ballmer Group is committed to improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States, funding leaders and organizations that have demonstrated the ability to reshape opportunity and reduce systemic inequities. They focus on multiple impact areas and systems that can impact economic mobility – such as early learning, K-12 education, college and career pathways, housing, behavioral health, and criminal justice – and they support leaders and organizations that focus on undoing systemic racism and the barriers it has created. Ballmer Group is both a national and regional funder – they have a presence and invest deeply in southeast Michigan, Washington state, and Los Angeles County. Ballmer Group was co-founded by philanthropist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, founder of USAFacts, and chairman of the Los Angeles Clippers. Learn more at

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. For more than 100 years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable, and sustainable change in communities throughout southeast Michigan. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit