The last week of Freedom School Summer is very bittersweet. I am thrilled to see all the growth the scholars have made but also very sad to see them go. I am also upset that my time at Freedom School is coming to a close. During this last week of Freedom School Summer, I got to see some of our scholars at Shalom Park. They had the opportunity to think about how they would make a change in their community. After reading a book that explained different reasons why people march and different causes that they march for, the scholars got to choose a cause they wanted to march for and design a poster for it. While they were doing the activity, I was able to have a conversation with them about what their posters mean to them. To hear the scholars speak about the things that impact their community was inspiring to say the least. Knowing that they have the knowledge and language to explain the issues in the world makes me wish I had more conversations with scholars this summer.

One scholar spoke about the recent nationally televised school shooting. The response of the officers not going into the school to save the children made her upset. “Imagine how those kids felt.” In that moment I knew that children really do see the world for what it is. I also realized Freedom School was doing its job. These scholars don’t get to talk about these topics during the regular school year. At Freedom School Partners, we get the opportunity to give them the safe space to speak their minds and ask questions. This is all I could have asked for in my time at Freedom School with the scholars.

Next week will be weird without them; without hearing Harambee every morning or going to enrichment activities. Without seeing them read new books with their SLIs. Without hearing, “Hi Ms. Jada!” at the sites when I visit. Man, I sure am going to miss them. Next week I will be going through the stories and moments that Annalise and I have gathered.

It’s time to see all the hard work we’ve done pay off more than it already has. I am so excited to relive all my favorite Freedom School moments!