Freedom Schoolâ€™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 Childrenâ€™s Defense Fund, a nonprofit child advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. that â€œis modeled after efforts in Mississippi and other Southern states in the 1960s to educate African Americans still encumbered by separate and unequal school systems.â€
Through a program that starts the day with song, dance, meditation, and sharing of experiences called harambee, a Swahili word meaning â€œletâ€™s pull together,â€ 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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