McRae-Gaines Learning Center to host Freedom School

Published 3:43 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

McRae-Gaines Learning Center will sponsor a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School next week.

The CDF event starts Monday and ends July 22.  The event will be held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The CDF Freedom Schools program model is a summer and after-school literacy enrichment program designed to serve children and young adults in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is limited, cost-prohibitive, or nonexistent.

In partnership with schools, faith and community-based organizations, municipalities, and colleges and universities, the CDF Freedom Schools program enhances children’s motivation to read and generates positive attitudes toward learning, connecting the needs of children and families to appropriate resources in their communities.

McRae-Gaines Board Members and volunteers have worked since September 2020, hoping to provide the program for pre-school and primary school age children but COVID and limited space caused a problem.

Fundraising also played a big part to sponsor a CDF Freedom School. They received grants from Senator Malika Sanders-Fortier and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education allowed McRae-Gaines to hire a Project Director, Site Coordinator and four Servant Leader Interns.

Stephanie Dillon Hamm, Development Manager, CDF Freedom School at mcRae-Gaines Learning Center said the Queen City  is crucial to the organization’s plans.

“McRae-Gaines Learning Center was recruited to sponsor a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in Selma by representatives of the organization in Alabama and nationally because of the unique position that Selma holds in the efforts to create a more equitable and engaged society in the United States, especially among young families in rural and multi-cultural areas of the country,”  Hamm said.