Now accepting enrollments!
Let your child be among the 10,000 students nationwide who will attend a freedom school this summer. The Hannah Freedom School is accepting applications for students in the 3RD – 7TH grades. Space is limited. Enrollment is on a first come basis with Marin City students having priority.
Since 2010, the Hannah Project partnership for Academic Achievement has operated a Freedom’s Schools Program in Marin City in affiliation with the Children’s Defense Fund. The CDF Freedom Schools® program is a research based multicultural summer enrichment opportunity that helps children and youth fall in love with reading, boost self-esteem, and generate more positive attitudes toward learning. Serving 50 elementary and middle school aged children each year, the Hannah CDF Freedom School is a six-week, full day literacy rich program that has five essential components: high quality academic and character-building enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational servant leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.
During the afternoons, the Hannah Freedom School offers visual and performance arts, sports and STEM related activities. Field trips occur every Friday. A family focused program, parents are deeply involved as site volunteers and participate in weekly parent education workshops. Freedom Schools create an affirmative, positive, culturally rich learning environment that sets high expectations for engagement. Independent testing confirmed that 100% of students enrolled in Hannah Freedom School did not experience summer reading loss, and 82% of students had cumulative reading gains in fluency and comprehension.
The curriculum is facilitated by college students and young adults. Referred to as Servant Leader Interns (SLIs), these students attend a week long national training institute at the Haley Farm in Tennessee. Of the 22+ college students that have served as SLIs with the Hannah Project, eight of them are actively pursuing careers as teachers or educational administrators — creating a much needed pipe line of minority educational professionals.
The vision for the Hannah Freedom School Academy resided in the hearts and minds of numerous people — just a kernel of an idea, an unnamed seed — waiting to take root.
Marsha Bonner wanted a high quality community led educational program to complement the efforts of local school districts. Wendy Cliff dreamed about organizing a Freedom School in the county from the time she first heard Marian Wright Edelman speak at Dominican University in the fall of 2008.
Bettie Hodges had searched for a program that could catalyze a culture of achievement in Marin City and set high standards for student achievement since the early days of community’s 700 Day campaign, but didn’t believe she could organize such a program without lots of help.
Sharon Turner and Juanita Edwards had advocated tirelessly on behalf of elementary and middle school aged children.
Johnathan Logan, Pastor of Cornerstone Community Church of God in Christ had long dreamed of a school as part of the church’s ministry.
Michael Evans, a recreational professional, knew firsthand the connection between education and recreation and culture.
Ethel Seiderman, a long term child advocate, wanted to devote time to a positive endeavor for Marin City children.
Somehow this disconnected set of individuals found each other and together made a commitment to bring a CDF Freedom School to Marin City.
When the idea of the Freedom School was introduced to the community at its annual MLK Celebration in January 2010, the community too became excited – anointing the idea with its first donation – a pass the hat offering of $546.23 – followed shortly by an initial grant of $18,000 from a community organization – the Marin City Community Land Corporation headed by Bennie Stewart.
Through grace and destiny, the movement had begun and Marin had its first CDF affiliated Freedom School.
THE FREEDOM SCHOOL MODEL
What Makes Hannah's Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School® Different?
The CDF Freedom Schools® concept is unique among summer enrichment programs because the mission is to create safe, nurturing educational environments that set high expectations for all children. This full-day program, taught by CDF trained college students, provides meals, weekly fieldtrips, parenting workshops, and is offered to the community tuition free.
Literacy as a Lifeline
Reading is at the heart of the Freedom School curriculum. During the summer session, many students fall in love with books for the first time.
Freedom School scholars ages 7-10 are taught by college-age interns who want to improve the lives of children while enriching their own life experience. These students, referred to as Servant Leader Interns, are a part of 2,000 other youth leaders from around the country who each complete rigorous week-long training in Tennessee as well as 4-6 days on post national training on site before the summer program begins.
Highlighting Cultural Awareness
Cultural history and heritage are emphasized through the use of an Integrated Reading Curriculum that introduces students to a rich collection of culturally diverse literature. Activities and field trips also explore a variety of cultures.
Parents as Learning Partners
Freedom Schools recognize parents as important partners in educating their children. Parents are expected to participate in school activities and attend weekly workshops to learn more about successful parenting, setting and achieving family goals, and becoming advocates for children’s education.
CDF Freedom Schools® History
Excerpt from Children's Defense Fund website
The CDF Freedom Schools program is proudly rooted in the American Civil Rights Movement and the courageous efforts of college age youth to make a difference.
Freedom Summer of 1964
The "Mississippi Freedom Summer Project" of 1964 was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), two leading Civil Rights organizations.
SNCC, a political organization formed in 1960 by Black college students in the United States was dedicated to overturning segregation in the South. The COFO was an umbrella organization that coordinated activities of various leading groups such as Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). These two major projects continued the struggle in Mississippi and called for "Freedom Summer."
The Freedom Summer Project was a major political action program designed to engage Black students and community volunteers in a variety of strategic activities to ensure basic citizenship rights for all Mississippians.
The Freedom Summer Project of 1964 activities included:
promoting a massive drive for voter registration among disenfranchised Blacks and coordinating a mock election;
creating community centers to provide weekly instruction and entertainment for Blacks;
conducting Freedom Schools, a summer education program to provide Black children and teenagers with a richer educational experience than was offered in Mississippi public schools; and
modeling for Mississippi children their responsibility to become a force for change in their state and nation.
These Freedom Schools provided reading instruction; a humanities curriculum emphasizing English, foreign languages, art, and creative writing; and a general mathematics and science curriculum. These schools were structured to motivate young people to become critically engaged in their communities and to help them identify and design authentic solutions to local problems.
Freedom Schools Reborn in 1992: the CDF Freedom Schools Program Model
The Freedom Schools movement was reborn in 1992 under the leadership of Marian Wright Edelman and the Children's Defense Fund's Black Community Crusade for Children® (BCCC®) program to advance this transforming vision of education for all children through the CDF Freedom Schools program.
In the words of Dr. John Hope Franklin, honorary co-chair of the BCCC program, we want our children "to appreciate fully the artistic, moral and spiritual values that will bring to them much of their heritage of the past and make it possible to pass them on to their successors. [We want to help our children develop] an understanding and appreciation for family, for their own rich heritage derived from their African forebears as well as their American experience, the kind of understanding that will simultaneously provide them with roots and wings."
With an increased focus on literacy, parent involvement, conflict resolution, and social action, the CDF Freedom Schools program utilizes an award-winning integrated reading curriculum and develops engaging lesson plans and hands-on activities to accompany it.
The CDF Freedom Schools model engages students in their local community and the larger national and world context. We expect our teachers, parents, children and staff to set high expectations for themselves and welcome the challenges of personal growth and transformation.
Much like the summer of 1964, trainings for college students at Shaw University and Miami of Ohio, each June, college age servant leader interns from all CDF Freedom Schools program sites participate in the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute, a national training workshop, at the historic CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, TN and University of Tennessee at Knoxville to develop their teaching skills and awareness of issues surrounding their community.