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Urban Freedom Schools Plant Seeds of Possibilities

Urban Freedom Schools Plant Seeds of Possibilities

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Published by John Henderson

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Published by: John Henderson on Oct 24, 2011
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10/24/2011

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URBAN FREEDOM SCHOOLS PLANT SEEDS OF POSSIBILITIES
Written:
8/8/2011 
Something inside so strong 
 
I know that I can make it 
 
Tho' you're doing me wrong, so wrong 
 This was the message that echoed throughout Summit on 16thUnited Methodist Church in Columbus on July 31, 2011 duringthe grand finale of the University District Freedom Schools,representing sites located at Maynard Ave. and Summit on 16th
United Methodist Churches.
That night, this chorus of words went beyond the walls of thechurch and across the city just as it had every morning for sixweeks prior, moving like a wave to the sound of children
svoices.Nearly 600 children (scholars) throughout Ohio were enrolled inFreedom Schools this summer, a six-week summer programestablished by the Children
s Defense Fund for children ages 5-18 as a way foster summer
reading and cultural enrichment. Nationally, approximately 10,000 scholars are enrolled in
the program.Click here for a photo gallery of the Summit on 16th event: Click here for a photo gallery of the Westside event: Currently, there are 151 Freedom schools throughout the country with 12 in Ohio (up fromthree in 2010), including eight in Columbus, three in Cleveland and one in Dayton.Modeled after the Freedom Summer of 1964 during the civil rights era, Freedom Schoolscelebrate Harambee, a Swahili word that means
let
s all pull together,
as children andadults, friends and enemies, people of many races and cultural backgrounds, join together
to celebrate themselves and each other.
Quartez Harris, college student and servant leader intern, said to the scholars,
Although
your past shapes you, it doesn’
t have to define you.
The United Methodist Church has answered a call to enhance the lives of children by
leading the Freedom School movement in Ohio. United Methodist affiliated sites include
Broad Street UMC, Maynard Ave UMC, Summit on 16th UMC and the Greater Hilltop AreaShalom Zone in Columbus, acommunity initiative led by Rev.Julia Nielsen Bingman, executivedirector, and Bishop Joseph
Sprague (ret.).Again, it echoed. “
Somethinginside so strong
 According to Rev. Laura Young,senior organizer for theChildren
s Defense Fund-Ohioand ordained United Methodistminister, the theme of FreedomSchools is that children canmake a difference in themselvesthrough hope, education andaction.As one servant leader intern stated,
Freedom School is a colorful place of acceptance andlove.
 The multi-cultural curriculum, implemented by college students called Servant LeaderInterns, is designed to promote literacy and to reinforce non-violent conflict resolution and
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email 
enlarge>>
 Freedom SchoolCelebration at Summit on16th UMC. Photo by JimDeCamp 
enlarge>>
 Freedom School Celebration in West Columbus, photoby Benjamin Derkin 
http://www.westohioumc.org/news_detail.asp?PKValue=398 Page 1 / 2

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