Summer program to educate children

Published 12:40 am Monday, May 4, 2009

According to the Children’s Defense Fund statistics, each day in America 1,240 children are corporally punished.

Two thousand three hundred sixth and seventh grade high school students drop out. Eighteen thousand four hundred and ninety-three public school students are suspended.

In Louisiana, 80 percent of public school fourth graders are reading below grade. The statistics are not only alarming, but a call to action for parents, educators and our community as a whole. We have to do whatever we can to help children get a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life and a successful passage to adulthood.

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We all know that reading is essential to a child’s success or failure in school. Through God’s grace and direction, we are making an attempt to help children improve their reading skills.

Kiddie Carrousel is establishing a Defense Fund Freedom School for Summer 2009. The CDF Freedom School is a summer reading enrichment program for students in grades one through 12. Classes will be June 15 through July 24, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at Bethel Church 204 Airport Road in Vidalia.

The CDF Freedom School reading curriculum is structured by grade levels. College students will serve as leader interns to assist the students.

We are looking forward to providing a fun, energetic, loving, learning environment for our students. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be served daily. We feel that it is important to not only provide opportunities for “hands-on” learning, but also allow our students to explore the world around them so we will be taking field trips that are not only fun, but educational.

We are excited about the opportunity to serve our community, our children. So parents, get your children signed up for the first CDF Freedom School.

Children from Vidalia, Natchez, Ferriday and surrounding areas are eligible to participate in the CDF Freedom School Summer Program. However, enrollment is limited to only 50 students and is being handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact Josephine Hawkins, project director, at 318-335-9612, Charles Johnson, executive director, at 601-445-4064, or Addie Hooper, site coordinator, at 318-336-8553.

Don’t let your child complain of “having nothing to do” this summer.

Register for CDF Freedom School Summer Reading Program.

Josephine Hawkins is project director of Children’s Defense Fund Kiddy Carrousel.