BY YOOJIN CHO
CHARLOTTE — Charlotte city leaders hope more than 100 college students working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg students this summer will help boost their reading skills and also inspire the kids to set higher goals for themselves.
“Summer can either be a time of risk or time of opportunity. Every child is precious and full of potential, but not every child has the opportunity to achieve that potential,” said Executive Director of Freedom School Partners Mary Nell McPherson.
She said 90 percent of kids lose reading abilities over the summer.
Charlotte is part of a national initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, a program that works with at-risk youth. Mayor Dan Clodfelter said what Freedom School Partners is doing helps with the city’s involvements in MBK.
He said, “The biggest thing is they just want, some times feel like nobody believes in them. They just want someone to believe in them. They want an adult to believe in them. Doesn’t have to be a parent. Doesn’t have to be a relative. Somebody. Anybody.”
Catawba College student Jerrin Morrison is a college intern who will be in classrooms this summer working with elementary school students.
“I think we should focus on the positives, and our children are definitely positive. No matter where they come from, rich, poor, it doesn’t matter because we all smile at the end of the day. And you can’t teach happiness, that’s something that’s instilled inside of them,” said Morrison.
This year, Freedom School Partners is working with 1,200 kids at 19 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.