Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools seeks volunteers

cdf freedom schoolA while back I attempted to interview LAUSD school board candidate Alex Johnson on his run to fill the vacant seat serving District 1 students.  Johnson touts his involvement in securing funding to expand Freedom Schools and created “safe passages” and with new funding, the program will be offered to more students this summer.

Freedom Schools have been funded by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and were introduced to the kids in LA County Probation Camps in 2013 with a pilot program started at Camps Miller and Afflerbaugh in Malibu and LaVerne.  Johnson states he worked directly with Marian Wright Edelman to provide $1 million in funding for the expansion.

It would appear that Johnson is able to attach himself to programs already in existence that have yet to trickle into School Districts directly.  Funding programs in probation camps shows that too many of our children are coming in contact with the law.

As a former District Attorney (Prosecutor) Johnson understands the value of diverting children from the school-to-prison pipeline, but wouldn’t one think these programs seem more suitable in the traditional LAUSD schools to prevent kids from going to camp?

2 Urban Girls hopes Alex Johnson will work with BLOOM, a nonprofit that ONLY works with children who are on probation, where fellow Morehouse College graduate, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, is a board member.  Ironically not a single board member is affiliated with the probation system.

For the fifth year Supervisor Ridley-Thomas will support six (6) Freedom Schools in the Second District, as well as five (5) Freedom Schools in our county probation camps – Camps Miller, Afflerbaugh, Scott, Gonzales, and Rockey. Over 500 children participate in this summer program that runs from June 16 to August 8, 2014.

With the funding Johnson secured, the following schools listed below will also have funding for Freedom Schools, which we believe should be at more inner city schools.

To volunteer, you may select from one of the schools below who are seeking assistance.

Agape International Spiritual Center 5700 Buckingham Pkwy Culver City, 90230 Contact: Tisha Marina Bernard  (

Middle College High School LA Southwest College LA,90047 Contact: Anthony Foster (

First New Christian Fellowship MBC 1555 W. 108th St. LA, 90047 Contact: Loretta Ryals-Johnson (

CSUDH 1000 E. Victoria St. Carson, 90747 Contact: Cassandra Chase (

Helen Keller Elementary School 3521 Palm Ave Lynwood, 90262 Contact: Cassandra Chase (

Holman United Methodist Church 3320 W Adams Blvd LA, 90016 Contact: Cassandra Chase (

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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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