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After School Program Aims to Boost Reading Skills

My colleague Kathleen Kennedy Manzo recently wrote an article about Freedom Schools, run by the Children's Defense Fund or CDF, which have after-school and summer programs in disadvantaged communities in six states. The program aims to provide after-school homework help and boost children's reading skills and is rooted in community involvement. The tutors are university students who are trained to help kids and often take place in churches, community centers, and schools. So far, research suggests that the program has helped improved reading skills of those students who have participated.

“Freedom Schools have always been conceived of as parallel institutions to school, and we work alongside schools ... in helping children succeed in the regular school day,” said Jeanne Middleton Hairston, the national director of the program for the CDF. “It’s about providing a safe and nurturing place for the children to come during out-of-school time to get homework help, build cultural awareness, and develop a strong appreciation for reading and learning.”

Sounds like a great program that combines a lot of factors we talk about here to create an engaging environment for kids.

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