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East TN

Freedom Schools®

  2019 Assessment Data



  • Most children, 86%, improved or maintained their 
    instructional reading level.

  • 90% of parents say

    • child is a better reader 

    • child believes they can make a difference

    • they will be more engaged in child's school work.
       

  • Children participated in social action against gun violence and demonstrated self-empowerment.

East TN

Freedom Schools®

  2018 Assessment Data



  • Most children, 100%, improved or maintained their 
    instructional reading level.
     

  • 90% of parents say

    • their child is a better reader 

    • their child believes they can make a difference

    • they will be more engaged in child's school work.
       

  • Children participated in social action to increase voter participation and demonstrated self-empowerment.

East TN

Freedom Schools®

  2017 Assessment Data

  • Most children, 84%, improved or maintained their 
    instructional reading level.
     

  • 90% of parents say

    • their child is a better reader 

    • their child believes they can make a difference

    • they will be more engaged in child's school work.
       

  • Children participated in social action by protesting against planned cuts to SNAP/EBT with a  march on Gay Street & Market Square.

Give us a call:

1-408-806-9467

The Freedom School Story

The Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) Freedom Schools® program is a six-week long summer enrichment program with 3 hours of reading per day. The program helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, cultivates positive attitudes toward learning, and reduces summer reading loss—one of the major challenges affecting poor and working-class children. With the help of a researched-based curriculum that is based on culturally responsive books that reflect their own images and caring and supportive college students that serve as teachers, Freedom Schools successfully address summer reading loss and a related decrease in students’ motivation to read.

 

In addition to offering high-quality academic enrichment, CDF Freedom Schools supports children and families in the areas of parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational leadership development, and health -- physical, mental, and nutritional. With the support of caring adults and communities we will aid our children’s successful journey into adulthood.

The scholars we serve at the CDF Freedom Schools are primarily children who are members of underserved families. Attending our school is FREE for all families and children 5-18 are eligible. We create a fun learning environment in every classroom where the child-to-teacher ratio is 10:1.

The teachers at Freedom Schools, our next generation of leaders, are college students and recent college graduates. We invest in them by providing them training at the annual Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute that is held at the CDF Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tenn. and at facilities in Knoxville, Tenn. We call our teachers Servant Leader Interns (SLIs) and the knowledge and experience they receive at the Training Institute prepares them well to teach the program and advocate for children.

Our site in East Knoxville will host 60 scholars, 6 Servant Leader Interns, and a Site Coordinator. Our Blount County site will have the same number of scholars and staff. The site at Maynard Elementary will host 50 scholars, 5 Servant Leader Interns, and a Site Coordinator. One Project Director will be responsible for all three sites. Scholars will have two meals and one snack per day, one field trip per week, and a variety of afternoon activities including robotics, STEM, money management, debate, public speaking, physical fitness, and art.

Executive Director and Project Director: 

Denise J. Dean is passionate about and committed to the betterment of children. She uses her corporate experience and elementary school teacher training in service to creating a high-quality educational and developmental experience for your children. 


Freedom Schools Literacy Curriculum Consultant: 

Evetty Satterfield has championed youth for over 10 years! She holds a Special Ed degree from Alabama A&M University and a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She has served in various capacity with Children's Defense Fund Freedom School for a total of 9 years. She believes that the key to educating our scholars are educators who are able to love our kids unconditionally and remove any and every barrier for them to achieve success.

East Knoxville

Site Coordinator:

Kiara Blain

 

Servant Leader Interns: 

Haley Davis is a rising Junior at Maryville College studying Political Science with a focus in Nonprofit Management. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing rugby, working out, & traveling. She is so excited to get the opportunity to be an SLI for Freedom Schools and cannot wait to meet the kids!

Neyasha Honorable is a rising senior at East Tennessee State University, where I am studying Sports Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship. In my free time I enjoy reading, running and exploring new things. I have a passion for kids and I look forward to a great summer.

Morgan Jones​ is a rising sophomore and English major who is currently attending MTSU. She holds a passion for reading and writing, and is excited to have the opportunity to work with Freedom Schools.

Mechanicsville

Site Coordinator:

Sierra Cotham is hype for the chance to serve her third year with Freedom Schools as Site Coordinator at Maynard Elementary. Sierra is a recent graduate of Lee University with a degree in Elementary Education. In the fall she will begin her career as a Kindergarten teacher at Battle Academy in Chattanooga. Sierra is very passionate about reading and educating children! She is very excited to get to know and serve in the Mechanicsville community this summer!

 

Alexis Hammond is a rising sophomore at Auburn University pursuing a major in chemical engineering. In 2019, she graduated from Oak Ridge High School. Alexis is an active member of Oak Valley Baptist Church in Oak Ridge where she assists with Youth Ministry activities. Alexis enjoys watching movies, trying out new hair styles, shopping, and volunteering in the community. Alexis' future plans are to obtain a graduate degree in Chemical Engineering, earn her professional license, and own an engineering consulting firm focused on reducing and controlling environmental pollution.

 

 

Jalen Jones is a Knoxville native that is a rising Junior at Carson Newman University majoring in political science with a sociology minor. He is a Bonner Scholar which means he does hundreds of hours of community service, community outreach, and community building in Jefferson County, TN. He loves serving his community! He is also founder and president of a culture club at Carson Newman known as Young Adults For Equality (Y.A.F.E). Y.A.F.E strives to enlighten and educate our community so that we can show everyone that life is not so much about "what" we are, but it's more about "who" we are. 

 

 

Blount County

Site Coordinator:

Julia Walker is an Alcoa, TN native that presently works in the Blount County School system in Maryville, TN, where she teaches Social Studies, and is the administrator of an after-school program, Crown Academy. Her educational passions are related to developing strong relationships with students and parents and closing the academic achievement gap between impoverished students and their middle-to-upper classed counterparts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Child Development, a Masters of Educational Leadership and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Servant Leader Interns: 

Kaitlyn Foust is a rising Junior at Maryville College. She is double majoring in American Sign Language Deaf Studies and Child Development with Learning. After she graduates she would love to work in a deaf school while continuing her education. Her goal is to work as a teacher for the deaf or in a special education program. Kaitlyn enjoys reading, spending time with the people she loves, and working with kids!

 

Caleb Moore is a rising senior attending East Tennessee State University, where he's studying to be a K-5 Educator. His goal is to earn his degree, move into an urban area and teach young children. Caleb loves reading online articles on sports, music, and culture. He also loves traveling and watching movies. 

Savannah Stewart is a rising junior at Maryville College. Her major is Childhood Development and Learning with the intention of being an elementary school teacher after she graduates. While studying at Maryville College, Savannah volunteers at the Fort Craig Boys and Girls Club and works a Montvale Elementary school as a Classroom Assistant. Some of her hobbies include photography, reading, and playing tennis in her free time. This is her first year being an SLI, and she is excited to work with all the scholars!

Joshua Woods is a rising Junior at Maryville College. He is studying Theatre Studies with Teacher Licensure. He enjoys music, theatre, performance arts, reading, and history! He has a passion for helping children reach their goals and plans to go into Public School Education after graduation in 2022.

Research Team: Dr. Susan Groenke

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