HYPE Freedom Schools Visit Prairie View
On June 28, 39 students, accompanied by program interns and staff from five elementary and middle schools in the Houston Independent School District, came to Prairie View A&M University’s Don Clark Building. All of the students, which are Freedom Scholars, are participants in this summer’s HYPE Freedom Schools.
“HYPE Freedom School, Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been serving children and families in the Sunnyside and South Park communities for more than 15 years,” said Dr. Susan Frazier-Kouassi, director of PVAMU’s Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center, who organized the trip to “The Hill.” “HYPE was established as the first Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School site in Houston, and it is the oldest site in Texas. HYPE helps local organizations and churches sponsor the CDF Freedom Schools program in communities lacking out-of-school-time activities for their youth.”
During the Freedom Scholars’ day-long trip to Prairie View, they participated in a campus-wide scavenger hunt and engaged in a mock trial hosted by Dr. Everett B. Penn (co-founder of the Teen and Policy Service Academy and Professor of Criminology at University of Houston – Clear Lake). They also ate lunch in the Memorial Student Center and bowled at Panther Plaza. In addition, the scholars had the opportunity to ask questions and dialogue with current PVAMU undergraduate students.
The HYPE Freedom School visit was organized through the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center’s partnership with the Youth Violence Prevention Coalition (Houston Health Department). Freedom Schools implement a curriculum developed by the Children’s Defense Fund that provides summer and after-school enrichment, which helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Freedom Schools offer nurturing learning environments using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: 1) high-quality academic enrichment; 2) parent and family involvement; 3) civic engagement and social action; 4) intergenerational leadership development; and 5) nutrition, health, and mental health. To find out more about HYPE Freedom School, Inc., visit hypefs.org.