Freedom School / The Maroon Project - Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies Skip to main content

We see Freedom Schools as a way to package culturally relevant education and social and emotional learning in a way that feels right to people from marginalized communities. Freedom schools stress pride in one’s ethnic or racial community, youth action in improving their communities, and the development of supportive relationships with their peers. All the while, freedom schools engage youth in an integrated reading curriculum aimed at eliminating summer learning loss. Over five weeks, students are engaged in literacy-based activities, focused on skill mastery and improving reading performance and comprehension. On average, Freedom School participants experience 6-8 months of reading comprehension and performance growth.

Working closely with university and community partners, the Cornwall Center works to expand freedom schools beyond the traditional summer school model, offering school year and extended learning opportunities to students and families. Freedom School partners include Rutgers Office of University-Community Partnerships, Newark Board of Education, Maroon Project, and the Children’s Defense Fund.