08:24 AM

Student Chosen to Participate in Freedom Schools Summer Program

childrens defense league logoA UHD student will participate in the Children's Defense Fund's (CDF) Freedom Schools program this summer as servant leader interns (SLI).

SLIs are college-aged young adults and recent college graduates who play a key role in the CDF Freedom Schools program. They are responsible for a maximum of ten students and serve as teachers during classroom activities. These interns must be mature, smart, and responsible, and should be selected for their energy and enthusiasm, their ability to engage children and their willingness to work hard with a spirit of servant leadership, according to the CDF Freedom School program website.

Before the program begins, Lynn Phan, a senior urban education student, will attend a seven-week training program in Clinton, Tenn. at the ranch of Alex Haley, author of "Roots."

"I am excited to train at the Haley Ranch and to meet like-minded educators," Phan said. "After the training program, I will begin teaching at the Harris County Juvenile Youth Village near Clear Lake. I will be preparing my classroom, implementing curriculum, and attending end-of-the-day planning meetings.'

The CDF Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.

"Dr. John Kelly recommended that I apply for the program after I volunteered to tutor the children at the juvenile detention center downtown. I have always been interested in working with incarcerated youth, and his service learning requirement for his Introduction to Special Populations class during the spring 2012 semester gave me the opportunity," Phan said.

Following a Dec. 2014 graduation, she hopes to begin teaching in a low-income middle school.