Reading is at the heart of Freedom School, and it creates the foundation for everything we do. Academic strength is built on literacy, and our scholars gain the skills (and passion!) to become lifelong readers and learners.
We partner with the Children’s Defense Fund and utilize an integrated reading curriculum (IRC) that includes intentionally curated selections that engage children in books that reflect diverse cultural images and history. This allows scholars to see themselves in the heroes and heroines of the texts they read. The IRC primarily focuses on meaning-focused literacy skills (vocabulary development and reading comprehension) and incorporates active reading into daily instruction. Lessons in the IRC consist of self and community empowerment skill development, with opportunities for social action and civic engagement, and conflict resolution strategies. Scholars participate in cooperative learning, role-playing, group discussion and creative writing, while engaging in dedicated reading times and building personal libraries.
More than 85% of children maintained or gained reading ability during Freedom School in 2019. And after the 2020 FSP R.E.S.P.O.N.S.E. Program, 74% of parents surveyed reported they saw behavior that reflects growth in their scholar’s reading or love for reading.