DETROIT (AP) — Former NFL star Jerome Bettis visited a new, $21.8 million Detroit school and announced he’s giving $15,000 to support parent engagement efforts.

The Detroit native stopped June 14 at the Mackenzie pre-kindergarten to 8th grade school. The building opens in the fall and was constructed on the campus of the old Mackenzie High School where Bettis starred.

GIVING BACK—Former NFL star and Detroit Public Schools alumnus Jerome Bettis, alongside DPS Superintendent of Academics Karen Ridgeway, announces a partnership to support a brand new parent engagement initiative on behalf of his “The Bus Stops Here Foundation,” June 14, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)

The new Mackenzie is one of three schools completed in time for the 2012-13 school year. Construction is part of a $500.5 million capital improvement program.

Bettis played running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-2005.

His “The Bus Stops Here Foundation” and the district will support training for five parents from 89 schools (445 parents), to become certified members of their school’s new Parent Advisory Councils on Student Achievement, or PAC-SA, with the end goal of improving student achievement.

Bettis was greeted by a bus load of parents from Barton and Parker Schools before taking a tour of the new school. Barton and Parker students will feed into the new Mackenzie when it opens this fall.

The foundation was started in 1996 to help disadvantaged and underprivileged children.

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