FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2015
Ashley Simmons, Office of the Mayor
704-336-3438 or 704-614-9116
Marni Eisner, Freedom School Partners
Mayor Dan Clodfelter launched the My Brother’s Keeper Charlotte (MBK CLT) local action plan today with Freedom School Partners, during a special pep rally to celebrate how a group of college interns will impact youth in the Charlotte community this summer.
Clodfelter spoke with interns about how their work perfectly aligns with the two community-wide goals for local youth outlined in MBK CLT:
• Ensure all children read at grade level by 3rd grade; and
• Ensure all youth are college or career ready by graduation
“Your work on key factors such as literacy skills, leadership development and self-esteem building fits directly into what we are trying to accomplish with My Brother’s Keeper Charlotte,” said Clodfelter. “Your role as advocates for our youth will have a lasting impact well outside of your work this summer.”
Freedom School Partners will serve 1,200 children at 19 sites and employ 167 college interns as classroom leaders and positive role-model instructors. The interns work with the children to build literacy skills and character strengths needed to make good decisions.
“With our community partners and our college Servant Leader Interns, Freedom School Partners is positively impacting our scholars in the classroom by preventing summer learning loss and outside of it by creating networks, building support systems that last beyond the summer and exposing the scholars to many new experiences,” said Mary Nell McPherson, Executive Director of Freedom School Partners. “This unique community engagement model is rewarding for scholars, college interns and partners alike. We all work together to expand the dreams of our scholars by opening them up to a world of possibilities.”
The MBK CLT action plan was developed based on the successes and areas of opportunity expressed by the Charlotte community. The framework identifies measurable outcomes of the community’s work while also providing the flexibility to be adjusted as the work of MBK CLT changes. Freedom Schools Partners is one of countless Charlotte area agencies working toward the goals of the MBK CLT action plan. Clodfelter encouraged the interns to return to Charlotte after graduation to carry forward the work they will embark on this summer.
“I encourage each of you to call Charlotte your home after you graduate to see how your work has carried on and continue with your own efforts to build a strong community,” said Clodfelter.
Jerrin Morrison is a first year intern for Freedom School Partners who just completed his freshman year at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. Although this summer marks his first year interning in the program, Morrison has been exposed to Freedom School Partners since age 5, as his older sister also interned with the program. Morrison said he appreciated the Mayor’s message about MBK CLT and what it means for Charlotte.
“My Brother’s Keeper is very positive and influential,” said Morrison. “Not only does it promote a message of ‘no child left behind’, it also says ‘no friend left behind’ as well. It’s a strong community foundation for helping kids put their best foot forward.”