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07/19/2024 04:57 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=40274
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 22, 2023 12:40 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb and Rep. Anthony A. Bellmon, Rep. La'Tasha D. Mayes, Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing the Freedom School Grant Program
 
Freedom Schools were created in the 1960s by the non-profit Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) in order to provide well-rounded educational opportunities to Black children that were not given those opportunities in the public schools in Mississippi. 
 
Today, faith-based organizations, schools and school districts, community-based organizations and non-profits, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities offer Freedom Schools in 24 states, including Pennsylvania. 
 
Freedom Schools today are designed to improve reading, language skills, and interpersonal relationships; strengthen families; connect children to medical and other needed social services; and develop in all participants the skills needed to improve conditions for children and families in their communities. Significant focus is on preventing summer learning loss as well, filling an important gap in educational opportunities outside of school.
 
Freedom Schools help children develop into well-rounded adults that can positively contribute to their communities, but currently, there is no state support for these important programs in Pennsylvania. Consequently, there is only one Freedom School currently operating in Pennsylvania. That is why we are introducing legislation to establish a Freedom Schools Grant Program to provide grants to schools and other organizations to help them establish more Freedom Schools. This legislation would align Pennsylvania with a similar grant program established in Illinois.
 
It is vital that we provide children with ample opportunities to learn in each of the ways provided by Freedom Schools to ensure their success. 
 
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation to provide more children with access to this valuable educational opportunity.



Introduced as HB2405