Freedom School Partners is a Charlotte area non-profit with a mission to inspire our scholars to love reading and learning, believe in themselves, and create extraordinary futures. We advocate relentlessly for our scholars by focusing on educational equity, as well as the root causes of academic achievement gaps.

Reading is at the heart of what we do because it creates a strong foundation for students. Academic strength is built on literacy, and our scholars gain the skills (and passion!) to become lifelong readers and learners.

Reading on grade level predicts long-term success.

According to research from Read Charlotte, if a child is not reading on grade level by the end of first grade, they have only about a 10% chance of reading on grade level by the end of fourth grade. Children who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. That’s why supporting Charlotte education nonprofits like Freedom School Partners is so important.

Summer learning loss widens the achievement gap.

The National Summer Learning Association reports that summer learning loss during elementary school years accounts for two-thirds of the reading achievement gap between low-income children and their middle-income peers. Most children in poverty are disproportionately affected, with cumulative reading losses of 2.5 to 3 months every summer. Their more affluent peers make slight gains.

Students of color are hit the hardest by summer learning loss. In 2015, the average reading score for white students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 4th and 8th grade exam was 26 points higher than black students.

Freedom School Partners serves communities in Charlotte with the highest risk of learning loss.

Freedom School Partners can help prevent summer learning loss.

Summer is a golden opportunity for under-resourced students. Access to the Freedom School experience can reduce or eliminate the academic achievement gap, a key factor in students’ long-term success.

Freedom School Partners focuses not only on academic progress, but character building, community engagement and health and wellbeing. They serve the whole child, as well as supporting their family. Learn more about our curriculum.

Our Summer Reading Camp in Charlotte serves K-8th grade students.

Freedom School is our six-week summer reading program that supports scholars and their families through five essential components (Children’s Defense Fund):

  1. high quality academic and character-building enrichment
  2. parent and family involvement
  3. civic engagement and social action
  4. intergenerational servant leadership development
  5. nutrition, health, and mental health

Each one of our Freedom School sites serves a particular school or community area. If your child attends one of our partner schools or lives in one of the communities we serve, they may be eligible to register for Freedom School Summer Reading Camp.

Read more FAQs about Freedom School.

Freedom School makes a lasting impact.

Thanks to the commitment of our site partners, local organizations, businesses, community funders, volunteers and individuals, thousands of scholars have received essential educational and socio-emotional skills during the summer that help them throughout the school year. And the relationships formed through FSP lead to real, sustainable change and increased opportunities to develop social capital in every community we touch.

84% of children maintained or gained reading ability during Freedom School in 2022. And after attending Freedom School, 97% of parents reported an increase in their child’s confidence in their reading ability.

Our paid education internships benefit everyone involved.

Learning gaps are due, in large part, to inequitable access to educational opportunities during the summer months. Freedom School Partners harnesses the strengths of paid college interns (Servant Leader Interns) and community members to enrich low-income students with literacy and life skills. This relationship exposes them to a range of other academic subjects.

Learning from young adults and community members who truly care about them and their success helps scholars create real relationships with role models who gain just as much from the experience as the students.

Be part of the Freedom School movement.

We envision a community that’s fiercely committed to embracing, elevating, and educating all children as our own. Together, we can equip a generation of Charlotte-area scholars with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life. The good news is that we can all play a part.

  • Donate to the mission.
    Your gift supports scholars and their families who most need, yet can least afford, a high-quality summer reading and enrichment experience.
  • Donate supplies.
    Each month, you can donate supplies and books to support our programs.
  • Become a sponsor.
    We offer many different education non-profit sponsorship opportunities in Charlotte, from event sponsorships to various corporate giving levels and benefits.
  • Volunteer your time.
    Freedom School Partners offers paid education internships, professional development experience, and volunteer opportunities for educators.
  • Register your student.
    Set your student up for success with Freedom School.

Freedom School Partners is a successful Charlotte area non-profit because it is served by our community for our community. When eager scholars and talented, caring people come together, we help create generational change in the form of enthusiastic readers and exceptional world citizens.