Written by Logan Harris
When you walk into any Freedom School location, the energy you feel is contagious. The rooms are filled with song and dance, passion, excitement, imagination, and loads of learning. It is definitely not your average summer program.
With 18 locations in Charlotte, Freedom School Partners provides high quality summer programming for scholars in grades K-8. They view education as a holistic experience and strive to support children academically, socially, and emotionally. Freedom School Partners also supports college students by allowing them to gain professional experience, serve as positive role models, and enter the teacher or social services pipeline.
Freedom School Partners is invested in preventing learning loss over summer break and igniting a passion for reading and a love of learning. They are fueled by the fact that only 10% of low-income Charlotte-Mecklenburg School students have access to quality summer learning programs and also that low-income children lose two to three months in reading comprehension in comparison to their middle income peers who make slight gains.
Without significant intervention, especially during these summer breaks, roughly three-quarters of students who are not reading on grade level by third grade will never catch up. Freedom School Partners combats these statistics with their programs which have been shown to be tremendously effective, with 90% of children maintain or improving their reading ability during their time at Freedom School.
This past November during #GivingTuesdayCLT, Freedom School Partners had a goal to raise $15,000 to be able to send 10 scholars to Freedom School this summer.
Through their Giving Tuesday campaign, Freedom School raised $16,356, which is an incredible testament to the work they are doing in the community and the difference they are making in the lives of children and their education.
Nancy Ralston, Individual Giving Associate at Freedom School Partners, says that this July, the 10 scholars participated in the six-week Freedom School program focusing on literacy, social/emotional skills and community building, and had a summer filled with education, exploration and excitement. Through Freedom School, the children were able to fall in love with learning and turned their summers from a time of risk into a time of opportunity!
"At Freedom School Partners, we say that our name is “Partners” for a reason. Having the opportunity to partner with SHARE Charlotte and other nonprofits to spread the importance of giving is something we value, promoting philanthropy across all sectors of our community," says Ralston.
We could not agree more, and are honored to be a part of Giving Tuesday and share stories like this, that detail how just one day of giving can impact children for years to come.