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School of Education and Human Services receives Kellogg Foundation grant

Friday, June 22, 2012
School of Education and Human Services receives Kellogg Foundation grant
OU’s School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) hosted a Freedom School Summer Program in downtown Detroit with the support of a $97,000 Kellogg Foundation Grant. The program provided a safe and fun environment for 70 children from Detroit, where they were exposed to reading enrichment and participated in afternoon field trips, music and dance workshops, and social action projects. 

Freedom Schools is a summer enrichment program developed by the Children’s Defense Fund, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the welfare of children in America. More than 80,000 children have attended a Freedom School in one of 31 states, and OU’s grant allowed for the first hosted program in southeastern Michigan.

The Freedom School was run out of the Nsoroma Institute, a charter school with an African-centered curriculum. The program lasted six weeks during which the children were provided an integrated curriculum of reading, conflict resolution and civic engagement.

The summer program was staffed by college students and recent college graduates from the community, including one OU alumna. The young adults encouraged a love of reading and experiential learning, developed leadership skills while directing classroom discussions, and were able to create a positive and exciting summer experience for the attending children.

The Kellogg Foundation grant covered expenses related to the executive director and staff, two nutritious meals and snacks daily, transportation for afternoon field trips, and curriculum books for instruction. It also provided books for the students to build personal libraries at home, and a library of books that will remain at the Nsoroma Institute.

“Being able to establish and operate a Freedom Schools Summer Program is an important undertaking, and the return has been invaluable. The Kellogg Foundation grant made this summer’s program a complete success, and we hope we can continue to make a difference in these children’s lives,” said David Tindall, development officer, SEHS, who was instrumental in securing the grant.