KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- This summer, the Kansas City, Kansas Rotary Club provided support to the Rainbow Mennonite Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School.
The Club helped with funding for required books and volunteered for the program’s daily reading activities.
The Club provided $2,000 for books, through a matching grant with Rotary District 5710 of Rotary International. One focus of Rotary International is literacy and basic education.
Freedom Schools are part of a movement begun by the Children’s Defense Fund in 1993. Rainbow Mennonite’s Freedom School has operated since 2007. The School is a six-week enrichment program for 100+ children in grades K-8.
The School partners with Rosedale Development Association and Harvesters to offer a full-day summer program for youth and families focused on literacy, leadership development and health/nutrition.
The program empowers parents, children, young adults and the community around the daily theme: “I can make a difference” in myself, my family, my community, my country and my world through hope, education and social action.
The Freedom School model addresses factors that affect low-income and disadvantaged children disproportionately:
- summer reading setback, including minimal access to supervised and structured summer enrichment activities
- poor development of early childhood literacy and
- summer nutrition gap.