2016 Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Program at Emmaus House

Our program’s purpose is to close the achievement gap by improving literacy and learning for children who face poverty and lack access to the educational resources they need to succeed. The Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program at Emmaus House is a summer program serving students from kindergarten through 8th grade. It’s aim is to motivate young scholars to read, generate positive attitudes towards learning, and empower students to make a difference in themselves, their families, their communities and their world.

Last summer, we enriched the lives of 70 scholars. This summer we hope to make an even bigger difference by enrolling 100 scholars thanks to the support of our donors and Peoplestown Partners.

During an average summer, students may lose up to two month’s worth of learning. This is known as the “summer slide” and it accounts for more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income students.

And the statistics portray a sober reality:

  • Children who can’t read by 3rd grade are 4x times more likely to drop out of school.
  • In 2013, only 21% of 4th grade children from low-income families in Georgia could read at or above grade level.

Students who do not complete high school are significantly more likely than high-school graduates to become incarcerated, become teen parents, be subjected to violence as either an aggressor or a victim, be unemployed, and be recipients of Medicaid and welfare.

The good news is that studies have found that educational summer programs for children, like the CDF Freedom Schools® program at Emmaus House, can help reduce or eliminate the gaps. Plus, the effects of these summer programs last over time. We believe in solving problems instead of treating symptoms. The CDF Freedom Schools® program at Emmaus House is a perfect example of this.

Our 2015 Program Had Great Results!

Pre and post evaluations conducted with a sample of scholars, using procedures recommended by the Freedom Schools® program, indicated the following:

  • 100% of scholars who were evaluated maintained or gained in their instructional reading level over the six-week program as measured by pre and post standardized testing.
  • Of those, 79% of students tested improved their instructional level in reading.
  • Students who maintained their reading level all showed gains in either accuracy, comprehension or fluency within that reading level.
  • Children in grades 4-7 saw the greatest gains.

Support our scholars in their fight against the summer slide and the achievement gap by donating today.