Freedom Schools Austin

Freedom Schools Austin gives children three fundamental resources needed to develop their potential: 1. Literacy skills 2. Character strengths needed to make good decisions and 3. A community that believes in them. Freedom Schools’ impact extends to transform college student interns into advocates for children and inspire them to be future leaders, and to deepen the community’s investment in children.

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs are six-week summer literacy programs led by college student interns. In 2014, Freedom Schools Austin will run from June 16 – July 25. Freedom Schools serve children who most need and yet can least afford summer learning opportunities. Championing the cause to defeat summer learning loss and giving every child an opportunity to succeed is the foundation of  Freedom Schools. In addition to the program elements described below, scholars receive two meals and a snack daily.

Information for Parents

Your scholar could be one of the over 100,000 scholars who have had a CDF Freedom Schools® experience since 1995!ReadingClass_IMG_9160.JPG-1024x682

In partnership with Welcome Table Inc., the CDF Freedom Schools®program works hard to ensure each scholar is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in life. Our program boosts scholars’ motivation to read, and generates a more positive attitude towards learning Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math.  It also connects the needs of scholars and families to the resources of their communities.

Servant Leader Interns

Servant Leader Interns are college students with the passion and commitment to be a role model in the life of a child. Interns serve as teachers during classroom activities and mentors through their scholars’ time in Freedom Schools. Interns receive 90 hours of training on curriculum delivery, youth development, and classroom management prior to working in Freedom Schools.

Site Testing Manager

The Site Testing Manager is a professor, graduate student majoring in education psychology, or a current or retired teacher who will help us assess each student in our program.

More Information and Video

cdf video

The Freedom Schools are Coming!

Welcome Table, Incorporated (St. James’ non-profit) is proud to announce that our Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® site will begin operations this June at Oak Springs Elementary School. The site will operate from June 16th through July 25th.

CDF Freedom Schools are designed to interrupt the ‘cradle to prison pipeline’ by encouraging young scholars to develop a love of reading. Many of our children, especially in East Austin, are trapped in an educational system that leads them to drop out of school and then choose a life path that includes criminal behavior, which could end with a prison term…or worse. Literacy is the gateway to learning; learning helps us change our circumstances. We must learn to read, and then we can read to learn.

The Freedom Schools movement is centered around an Integrated Reading Curriculum (IRC) that has been in use for 20 years in cities across the nation. College-aged Servant Leader Interns facilitate the IRC, providing reading enrichment that will help prevent the ‘summer slide.’

Welcome Table, Inc believes in promoting holistic development, we have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) component during the afternoon. On Fridays, the scholars will be taken on field trips that focus on expanding their understanding of the world around them.

For an overview of how the program looks, please take six (6) minutes to watch the video at:  http://freedomschoolpartners.org/photo-gallery/

This summer, we will focus our efforts on changing the perspectives of 50 children who have just completed grade levels Kindergarten through 5th. We have ten (10) spots available for children from St. James’ and ten (10) spots for children from the wider Austin area. Thirty (30) spots are reserved for children who currently attend Oak Springs Elementary. We would love your young scholar to participate.

If you do not have a young person to enroll, there are other ways to be involved:

  • Serve as a volunteer during free periods
  • Donate airline miles from United or American airlines to assist with travel for Servant Leader Interns and staff to attend the June training at Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee
  • Tell your friends and neighbors about Freedom Schools…ask them to consider making a tax-deductible monetary donation at http://welcometableaustin.org/
  • Tell us about people and organizations who support early childhood education and enrichment

For more information, please contact Gina Houston at gina.m.houston@irs.gov or Mila Jackson at milaj4@yahoo.com …or just grab us after a service.

We are very excited to offer this program in Austin for the first time. We look forward to changing the lives of our young people and showing them that theycan make a difference – in Themselves, in their Families, in their Communities, in this Nation, and in the World.

Freedom School: Site Testing Manager

fs-intern-and-scholarJob Description

Basic Qualifications: Four years of college, should NOT be affiliated with or employed by CDF Freedom Schools® program.

Better Qualifications: Professors, Graduate students majoring education/psychology, current/retired school teachers

Compensation: $600. To be paid at the end of the Freedom Schools session if all of the below tasks are completed to the satisfaction of the CDF National Office. Compensation will be sent to Site Testing Manager by early December.

Responsibilities:

Before the tests:

  • Receives materials from CDF (test materials, test protocol, guide sheet, confidentiality agreement, STM contract form)
  • Discuss and determine the testing schedule of pre-test and post-test with contact person of the site (ED, PD, or SC).
  • STM training via conference call (TBA)
  • Receive children’s list with their grade and gender.
  • Produce a list of participants. Select at least 7 children per day for 5 days (35 children) evenly distributed based on their grade and gender from grade 1 through 12 (or the highest grade in your site). Please ask for ED, PD or SC’s help to this process (e.g., information about children who will not be in Freedom Schools for the last week post test).
  • Make sure that there is a quiet place to administer the individual test (desk and two chairs).
  • Send STM contract form and confidentiality agreement form to CDF national office

Pre test days:  First FIVE morning IRC times, first Tuesday through Second Monday

  • Test starts right after the Harambee.
  • STM pull a child from classroom one at a time and walk together to the testing place with some small talk. Administer the test following the direction. Test time will vary by individual (between 15 to 25 min).
  • When a child finishes the test, the child may be asked to fill out survey forms.
  • Walk the child to his/her classroom and pull the next child on the list from the classroom.
  • STM will administer the test to 4 ~ 7 children. We encourage STM to maximize the number of participants.
  • Submit completed test answer sheets to CDF DC office no later than one day after the last day of pre test.  Keep the shipping receipt and tracking number.

Post test days:  Last FIVE morning IRC times, fifth Friday through sixth Thursday

  • Test starts right after the Harambee.
  • STM pull a child from the classroom at a time and walk together to the testing place with some small talk. Administer the test following the direction. Test time will vary by individual (between 15 to 25 min).
  • When a child finishes the test, the child may be asked to fill out survey forms.
  • Walk the child to his/her classroom and pull the next child on the list from the classroom.
  • Try to make sure that children who took pretest take post test again.  We encourage STM to maximize the number of participants.
  • Submit completed test answer sheets to CDF DC office no later than one day after the last day of post test.  Keep the shipping receipt and tracking number. Return test materials.

 

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume, to Freedom School Austin.

Freedom School Information for Parents

What is the CDF Freedom Schools® Program?

Your scholar could be one of the over 100,000 scholars who have had a CDF Freedom Schools® experience since 1995!ReadingClass_IMG_9160.JPG-1024x682

In partnership with Welcome Table Inc., the CDF Freedom Schools® program works hard to ensure each scholar is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in life. Our program boosts scholars’ motivation to read, and generates a more positive attitude towards learning Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math.  It also connects the needs of scholars and families to the resources of their communities.

A Day in Welcome Table Inc.’s Freedom Schools® Program

From June 16th– July 25th, scholars enter the program site at Oak Spring Elementary located at 3601 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX  78702 at 8:00am.   They are greeted and served a nutritious breakfast by caring adults.  With stomachs full, they move on to Harambee!, a time of informal sharing when scholars, community leaders and staff come together to celebrate themselves and each other.

In the classroom, where servant leader interns (college students or recent graduates) facilitate classes of no more than ten scholars, the children are engaged in reading and theme-based, hands-on activities as outlined in the Integrated Reading Curriculum.  Reading is a cornerstone of the program.  Servant leader interns lead the scholars in reading excellent books throughout the summer.  These books feature heroes, heroines, and settings that reflect the scholars’ cultural images and history.  Classroom activities related to the day’s reading use one or more of a variety of teaching models, including cooperative learning, role playing, and group discussions, and include read aloud, paired reading, Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.)Time, creative writing, or visual arts.  The range of activities ensures that scholars with diverse experiences, talents, and levels of confidence in reading and verbal expression are actively engaged.

At lunchtime the feeling of family and community spirit continues as the scholars join adults to eat a nutritious meal.

After lunch, scholars participate in the other cornerstone of the program, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities.  These are well-planned integrated activities that are related to the theme “I Can Make a Difference in Myself, My Family, My Community, My Country and My World with Hope, Action and Education.  Field trips are planned that expand scholars’ horizons for each Friday.  The scholars may also engage in social action projects and rehearse for the summer finale that is performed for parents, friends, and community leaders.

The day ends at 4:00pm for our scholars.

For more information on the National Program, visit Children’s Defense Fund.

How to Apply to Enroll My Child in Welcome Table Inc.’s Freedom School®?  Limited Space Available

Click here to download the application.

Haga ‘click’ aquí para descargar la aplicación en Español .

Once complete, please send completed application and recent copy of your scholar’s report card to Freedom School Austin.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

powerful tools for caregivers logoAn exceptional series of 6 classes that addresses the challenges faced by those who provide unpaid care for an elder or an adult with a chronic illness. Participants will learn and practice a variety of communication skills that result in better self-care and improved caregiving.

Click here to take the caregiver quiz!

Led by trained facilitators • Proven effective at reducing stress
Dynamic and fun small group format
FREE • No cost for participation

MONDAYS • 6:30-8:30 PM
April 7 – May 12
St.James’ Episcopal Church
1941 Webberville Road • Austin TX

To register and for more information about
Powerful Tools for Caregivers please call 512-698-2550.