Emmaus House is seeking donations to support our Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program. The summer is a critical time for disadvantaged students. Not only is it important to prevent learning loss, it’s an opportunity for students to leap forward, ensuring that they are up to speed with school curriculums and with their more advantaged counterparts. Your generosity allows us to provide the mentorship and support necessary to help close the “achievement gap.”
Nationwide, white students perform nearly two years ahead of Black and Brown students. Atlanta’s achievement gap is the largest in the country, with white students testing almost five years ahead of Black students. It can be tempting to blame schools for this, but the problem is wide-ranging. During an average summer, students may lose up to two months’ worth of learning. This “summer slide” accounts for more than half of the achievement gap between lower and higher-income students.
The Emmaus House Freedom School utilizes a research-based integrated curriculum that prioritizes intergenerational support and mentorship while helping connect families to resources inside their community. Freedom schools encourage a positive attitude toward learning by providing rich, culturally relevant books that enable children to see themselves as part of a multiracial, multicultural society. It’s not just others’ stories they are reading, it’s their own. Oftentimes, that detail alone can make all the difference.
In the past two years that we’ve hosted the Emmaus House Freedom School (2019 and 2021), 100% of the scholars we assessed either maintained or improved their reading levels. Some gained more than a year in functional reading ability over the six-week program.
We rely on community support to keep this program running. It is impossible to overstate the impact of your giving. For us, it’s dollars and cents. For our students, it’s proof that someone out there believes in their ability to succeed.
We are so grateful for your support. For our young scholars, it really means the world.