Freedom School’s are growing around the country in efforts to close the achievement gap between white students and black and Latino students, by improving literacy with a six-week summer program. The initiative was developed by the Children’s Defense Fund, a nonprofit child advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. that “is modeled after efforts in Mississippi and other Southern states in the 1960s to educate African Americans still encumbered by separate and unequal school systems.”
Through a program that starts the day with song, dance, meditation, and sharing of experiences called harambee, a Swahili word meaning “let’s pull together,” to afternoon activities outdoors, students are having fun at school and enjoying experiences, like exploring museums and soaring in a plane, they might not otherwise get. Freedom School teaches students to think critically, have a healthy mind and body, be creative and read multiple books a week. And at Freedom School, parental participation is required.
Article: This summer’s lesson: Learning is fun
It is a hot, energy-sapping morning on a quiet residential street, but inside the Lynwood United Methodist Church, summer school students are raising the roof with inspirational chants, boogie-down dances and affirmations of friendship.
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