Each summer Freedom School Partners, a Charlotte based non-profit focused on summer learning and enrichment, celebrates Great Day of D.E.A.R, “Drop Everything And Read”. On July 20, all Freedom School students, called scholars, at 12 sites across the city will read the same text. This year’s book selection, I AM ONE: A Book of Action by Susan Verde, centers around how each person can make a difference through one single action. Great Day of D.E.A.R is the same day as the Children’s Defense Funds Freedom Schools National Day of Social Action, where social action and civic engagement are topics of conversation with scholars.

One local Dilworth resident, Evalyn Knox, has lived a life of action by serving others both inside and outside the classroom. Mrs. Knox taught for over 40 years at First Ward and Pinewood Elementary Schools. “She is a born educator,” her daughter Garcia Lesser states. “She never quit teaching.”

To honor Mrs. Knox for her 95th birthday, Lesser organized a book drive benefitting Freedom School Partners’ Great Day of D.E.A.R. Members of Mrs. Knox’s community rallied together to provide over $2,000 to go towards purchasing 180 books for Great Day of D.E.A.R. These funds will fully sponsor Pinewood Elementary, Mrs. Knox’s former school and one of Freedom School’s summer sites.

On June 28 Mrs. Knox was presented with thank you cards designed by scholars from Pinewood Elementary at her birthday celebration at the Duke Mansion.