Appleton Freedom School 2017
Appleton sponsored its first Freedom School in 2017. This intensive six-week summer reading and enrichment program developed by the Children’s Defense Fund targets children living in poverty who need to improve their reading skills and is offered free of charge to all attendees. At the recommendation of the Macon-Bibb School System, Appleton's program is emphasizing improved third grade reading scores and the pivotal switch by the end of that grade from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn. Appleton hosted fifty 1st - 3rd graders and delivered a curriculum rich in culturally-appropriate books that explore history, civic engagement, and social justice and encourage Freedom School scholars to make a difference in their families, their community, and the world. The CDF curriculum is enriched locally with activities in art, science, dance, music, swimming, and field trips to community points of interest. Freedom School Macon 2017 was delivered with the assistance of college and graduate interns, enrichment teachers, and nearly one hundred volunteers and would not have been possible without generous support from the Diocesan Ministry Innovations Fund, the USDA Summer Feeding Program, an Appleton program grant, private donations from individuals, churches, and clergy groups, and the use of facilities at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and the St. Francis Art Center. Ongoing funding for Freedom School is solicited above and beyond Appleton’s annual program grant budget and requires year-round planning and implementation to cover the cost of $1,800 per scholar.