Freedom Schools are summer and after-school enrichment programs that help children find joy in reading, increase their self-esteem and have positive attitudes toward learning. Over 90,000 children nationwide have had a Freedom School experience since its founding by Marian Wright-Edelman (head of Children’s Defense Fund) in 1995. The program uses a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment, parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational leadership development and nutritional and mental health. The concept has been replicated in two areas of North Charleston – Metanoia and Carolina Youth Development Center — with great success. Studies have shown that students who do not read during the summer months lose as much as one-third of their previous grade level’s learning. The Freedom School is an attempt to lessen the impact that the summer months have on youth who may have few opportunities for educational activities in those months. The program also involves students from colleges and universities in the area, as Servant Leader Interns who gain experience in the field of education and also help serve their community. For information on how you can get involved with one of the area’s Freedom Schools, visit www.cydc.org or www.pushingforward.org.
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