DETROIT - More than 800 volunteers signed up to help teach Detroit students to read after Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb said that Detroit Public Schools needs a "reading revolution," according to a report at

Bobb asked for a total of 100,000 hours of volunteer time in response to last week's report that the district's reading and math scores were the worst ever recorded on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, according to mlive.

The Detroit Free Press is a partner in the literacy initiative.

The Free Press reported that more than 700 volunteers from across the metro area signed up online within 36 hours and an additional 140 people registered by phone, according to mlive.

"I have to have faith that the coming generation can make Detroit, Michigan, the nation and the world a better place than the one we are leaving behind," retired mechanic and self- published poet Mark Durfee told the Free Press.

"We want people to have not just a sense of urgency after seeing these scores, but a sense of outrage over these scores," Bobb said in a statement at the district Web site. "But we do not want these scores to paralyze us. ... Please volunteer with us and help a child learn to read."

SOURCE:, "Robert Bobb calls for 'reading revolution' in Detroit Public Schools; more than 700 volunteer in 36 hours," Dec. 15, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Beyond Basics: Reading, writing and 'expanding horizons' in Detroit," Nov. 11, 2008