During the summer months, all students are at risk for summer learning loss. This is especially true for low-income students who lack access to high-quality enrichment that reinforces their school year gains.
Since 2011, we've partnered with the nationally-recognized Children's Defense Fund Freedom School Program to provide a 6-week literacy program rooted in the Civil Rights movement College-aged teachers (we call them Servant Leader Interns) lead the small classes becoming mentors and guides.
We read. We write. We sing.
We dance. We experiment. We create.
We build community. We foster hope.
In 2013 94.1% of the Freedom School scholars in Somerville maintained or gained a reading level.
On average these scholars improved their reading level by 1 year and 3 months.
Unfortunately national research shows that, on average, children lose 2 – 3 months of reading level over the summer.
About two-thirds of the 9th grade achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
Providing high-quality summer enrichment is leveling the playing field for our low-income scholars.
Freedom School parents attend weekly parent meetings with topics from budgeting to drug awareness to advocating for a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) advocacy.
Freedom School goes beyond academics to create a sense of community and hope in transformational ways. Each day begins with Harambee (Kiswahili for “Let’s Pull Together.”). It’s our high-energy, fun, way of building community as we learn and grow.
8:00 AM Healthy Breakfast
8:30 AM Harambee!
A great time of singing and dancing culminating with the motivational song, “Something Inside So Strong”
9:00 AM Integrated Reading Curriculum
10:30 AM Healthy Snack & Break
10:45 AM Integrated Reading Curriculum
11:45 AM Drop Everything & Read Time
12:00 PM Healthy Lunch
12:30 PM Recess
1:00 PM Afternoon Activities
Everything from yoga to poetry to Afro-Caribbean drumming to electrical circuits
3:00 PM Dismissal