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PUMC supports a Freedom School site at Oakhurst Academy every summer, right near our St. Johns UMC Community. The site serves 45-50 children in grades K-8 from nearby neighborhoods. The school runs from June 17-July 26. We split our volunteer time with our friends at St. Gabriel Church across the street, so the volunteer weeks for PUMC fall from July 8-July 26th.
What exactly is Freedom School, you ask? Freedom school sites are designed to promote the long-term success of at-risk children by preventing summer learning loss through igniting a passion for reading and inspiring a love of learning through a 6-week program conducted at 19 sites in Charlotte.
Not only does Providence support this site in a significant financial way, but we support it through lots of hands-on involvement with the children. In the mornings, the site is run by Freedom School Staff and College Summer Interns. The students engage in learning activities focused on literacy all mornings. In the afternoons, the students do lots of fun-filled activities. This year, for the first time, Providence is creating a Teen Board comprised of our PUMC youth in rising grades 10-12 to engage with the students in the afternoons.