Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Invitation

We have an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of school-aged children by participating as a guest reader at a Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School®. Freedom Schools, founded by famed national educator and CDF founder Marian Wright Edelman, close achievement gaps surrounding students and literacy during the summer learning loss. Freedom Schools focus on improving literacy and self-esteem through a curriculum that engages children and their families around five essential components: (1) high quality academic enrichment; (2) parent and family involvement; (3) civic engagement and social action; (4) intergenerational leadership; and (5) nutrition, health and mental health.

Each Freedom School site typically begins at 8:30 a.m. with Harambee, a 30-minute activity derived from the Swahili language that simply means, “let’s pull together.” Harambee is a time of informal sharing which includes a “read-aloud” segment, as well a hand clapping, foot stomping celebration that will stimulate the mind and stir the soul. In the read-aloud segment, readers are invited to select a short book or story to read to the scholars, who range in age from five to 18.

Not only do many residents plan to participate as a guest reader at various Second District Freedom School sites, but for the fifth year Supervisor Ridley-Thomas will also support six (6) Freedom Schools in the Second District, as well as five (5) Freedom Schools in our county probation camps – Camps Miller, Afflerbaugh, Scott, Gonzales, and Rockey. Over 500 children participate in this summer program that runs from June 16 to August 8, 2014.

Please join fellow Angelenos this year as a “read-aloud” guest at one or more of the 2014 Freedom Schools. We know that your schedule is quite busy but we promise that you will find this time very well-spent!

Please click the following link if you would like to view a short video that shows “reading-aloud” in action.

Below please find a list of the Freedom School sites, operational dates and “read-aloud” coordinator so that you can pick a location to read a book to children this summer.


Agape International Spiritual Center Agape International Spiritual Center
5700  Buckingham Pkwy
Culver City, CA 90230
June 16 -July  25 Tisha Marina Bernard
Community Coalition Middle College High School
LA Southwest College
11750 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90047
June 16 – August 7 Anthony Foster
First New Christian Fellowship CDC First New Christian Fellowship MBC
1555 W. 108th Street
Los Angeles, CA  90047
June 23 -August 1 Loretta Ryals-Johnson
READ LEAD Cal State Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria Street, Building 7
Carson,  CA 90747
June 23 -August 1 Cassandra Chase
READ LEAD Helen Keller Elementary School
3521 Palm Avenue
Lynwood, CA 90262
June 23 -August 1 Cassandra Chase
READ LEAD Holman United Methodist Church (*NEW*)
3320 West Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
June 23 -August 1 Cassandra Chase