Baylor University is an official sponsor of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools, and in 2017 the School of Education launched the Waco program, led by Dr. Lakia Scott, assistant professor of Curriculum & Instruction.
Freedom Schools is a seven-week summer literacy enrichment program founded by CDF. Social action, character building, and STEAM activities are built into the program so children engage in an interactive, meaningful curriculum. Throughout the program, children are exposed to culturally relevant books and meet with community guests to learn how to be agents of change in their local areas. The main theme of Freedom Schools is “I Can Make a Difference in Myself, My Family, My Community, My Country and My World with Hope, Action and Education.”
Baylor’s 2017 Freedom School is at Cesar Chavez Middle School June 14 through July 28, hosting 50 rising sixth graders from Chavez’s four feeder elementary schools—South Waco, Kendrick, Alta Vista and Bell’s Hill. Each of these schools serves a predominately non-White student population, and the majority of students are classified as economically disadvantaged. This program is completely free and includes field trips, swimming lessons, and meals.
In addition to a offering a service for children in the community, the program provides an opportunity for pre-service teachers enrolled in Baylor School of Education to work as Servant Leader Interns (SLIs) and serve children from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
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