County Executive

Prince George's County, Maryland

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker to Attend Finale of Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School Summer Literacy Program

For Immediate Release: 7/30/2014 7:30 PM

Contact: Scott L. Peterson | (240) 619-9400

UPPER MARLBORO, MD Tomorrow, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell will participate in the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)Freedom School Summer Finale event.  The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School is a  six-week summer literacy based program which provides academic enrichment to low-income at-risk students around the country. The County’s Freedom School, which was funded by Prince George’s County Public Schools as a part of its TNI@School partnership with the County government, will be completing its first year in Prince George’s County. Freedom School scholars are children living in the Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) areas who would benefit from academic support during the summer months.  Over 90 young people participated, including ­­­8 student Intern / Teacher volunteers from Howard University.

“I am pleased that we were able to bring the CDF Freedom School to Prince George’s County because this program has a proven track record of helping young people stay engaged in learning and also reduces summer information fall off.  I congratulate the Prince George’s County students who participated in our first Freedom School and thank the Children’s Defense Fund,  Prince George’s County Public Schools, Howard University, and other community partners for supporting  and offering this important opportunity to our children,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III.   Freedom Schools have a wonderful history in our country.  They were temporary, alternative free schools designed to organize African Americans to achieve social, political and economic equality.   This summer enrichment opportunity is right in line with the original mission of Freedom Schools and with our TNI mission to uplift neighborhoods and the people who live in them.  As a child who had trouble learning to read, I know firsthand how critically important programs like these are to the futures of the students who participate in them.  Since 1973, Marian Wright-Edelman and the Children’s Defense Fund have been changing lives for the better across this nation.  This summer, for the first time, they have made an indelible mark on many children in Prince George’s County.”  

This year, CDF Freedom Schools and their partners have served more than 12,600 children in 108 cities and 29 states (including Washington, D.C.). The CDF Freedom Schools work hard to ensure that each child is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in life. The Freedom School program boosts student motivation to read, and generates a more positive attitude toward learning and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities.  Each week scholars read books and participate in activities centered on the overall program theme “I Can Make a Difference.”  Additionally, the program model uses college students, Servant Leader Interns, as teachers and actively engages scholars in social action and justice activities and plans a “Finale” at the end of the program to showcase the learning, growth, and talents of their scholars to the community, donors and families.  

The CDF Freedom School represents just one of several summer bridge programs and opportunities supported by Prince George’s County Government and Prince George’s County Public Schools. Summer bridge programs were established in County Executive Baker’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative communities to provide students with extra academic and social support to prepare them for the upcoming school year.  

To read more from CDF President Marian Wright Edelman's "Empowering the Next Generation Through the CDF Freedom Schools Program", please click here.  To watch an introduction video on the Freedom Schools, please click here.

Finale of Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Summer Literacy Program

July 31, 2014 
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III
Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell
Prince George’s County Council
Prince George’s County Board of Education
Children’s Defense Fund
Howard University
Community Builders, Inc.

G. James Gholson Middle School
900 Nalley Road
Landover, Maryland 20785