UT Hosts National Freedom School Training Conference

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee will host the 2004 National Freedom School Training Conference June 6-13.

Freedom School is an educational enrichment program coordinated by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and the Black Community Crusade for Children. This is the eighth year that UT has hosted it.

Training sessions will be held at UT campus and the Alex Haley Farm in Norris. CDF purchased the farm in 1994.

The mission of CDF is to “Leave No Child Behind” and 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, said Ken Libby of CDF’s Haley Farm.

Freedom Schools incorporate the CDF mission into a comprehensive summer program in partnership with parents, young adult trainers and community leaders.

“The 650 Freedom School leaders will be at the conference to prepare for hosting the schools in their cities,” Libby said.

“They will focus on how to motivate children and how to blend learning into fun programs.”

The schools serve children ages 5 to 18 for 6 to 8 weeks using a curriculum that promotes reading, writing, conflict resolution, social action and leadership development.

Freedom Schools are staffed by young adults who have participated in the National Freedom School Training Conference.

The Black Community Crusade for Children is a CDF program that brings Freedom Schools to historically black neighborhoods.