By Kelley Deal
Peacemakers of Rocky Mount, North Carolina has wrapped up another successful summer of Freedom School. The summer enrichment program provided 240 children in South Rocky Mount and Tarboro NC the opportunity to improve reading skills and learn strategies for academic and lifelong success.
Said Jesse Lewis, Peacemakers Executive Director:
“It is hard to believe that another fantastic Freedom School summer has come and gone. Over the seven weeks of this program, pre and post test data show the reading levels of our children increased an average of 18 months this summer. This is a significant academic impact for these local children as they head into the new school year. We are deeply indebted to the incredible Freedom School staff for pouring their lives into our scholars this summer, and to all the volunteers who make it all happen.”
Freedom School utilizes a time-tested curriculum designed by the Children’s Defense Fund, helping rising first through ninth graders fall in love with reading, increasing their self-esteem, and generating more positive attitudes toward learning.
Local children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. The program, like many of Peacemakers’ activities, is sponsored by a number of private foundations, government agencies, and individuals, and offers parents and family members the support and skills they need to help their children succeed.
“By the end of the summer, many children demonstrated a desire to spend time reading, when they had minimal or no desire to read at the beginning of the program,” Lewis added. Additionally, improvements were seen in self-confidence including better self-perceptions of identity, ability to succeed academically, desire for future positive growth and understanding of available career options.
Peacemakers is a Christian community development 501c3 organization located at 1725 Davis Street in Rocky Mount. Their mission is to serve the under-resourced area of South Rocky Mount, by empowering citizens with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful and sustainable lives. Peacemakers strives to tangibly demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in such a way that it results ultimately in the complete transformation of the community and its people. For more information, call 252.212.5044, email, or visit www.rockymountpeacemakers.org.