The New Ark Freedom School mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. The New Ark Freedom School is a direct service initiative coordinated nationally by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® in partnership with Rutgers University – Newark. It is an educational and cultural enrichment program that provides summer options for children and strengthens family and community involvement.
CDF Freedom Schools programs aim to boost student motivations to read, generate more positive attitudes toward learning, increase self-esteem and connect the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities. The program serves children in grades third – eighth for six to eight weeks. The activity based Integrated Reading Curriculum (IRC), which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, integrates reading, conflict resolution, and social action, and is designed to promote social, cultural, and historical awareness. A multi-year assessment of CDF Freedom Schools program sites continuously demonstrates the effectiveness of the IRC, which has proven to avert children’s summer learning loss in reading achievement.
College-age young adults and recent college graduates play a key role in the New Ark Freedom School program in the position of Servant Leader. Each Servant Leader serves a maximum of 10 scholars. Servant Leaders will:
• Serve as a positive role model for all scholars.
• Supervise and maintain safety of scholars.
• Maintain a professional decorum.
• Set up, manage and break down classroom space according to standards outlined by CDF and the sponsor organization.
• Engage a maximum of 10 scholars per class in the Integrated Reading Curriculum, according to the standards developed by the Children’s Defense Fund and local program sponsor.
• Attend all required training sessions.
• Work with site staff to ensure that all program components are implemented with fidelity.
• Report any issues or concerns regarding program operation to the Site Coordinator.
• Collaborate with staff to established and maintain a supportive and structured environment for the children entrusted to their care.
• Serve as a Harambee! Leader each day of the program operation.
• Serve as a leader of afternoon activities and other special events; chaperone field trips.