On October 26, 2016 Bishop Robert Wright announced the Diocese of Atlanta’s plan to add a second Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program. The second program, scheduled for summer 2017 in Macon, Georgia, will be part of the Diocese of Atlanta’s continued effort to support children living in poverty.
“Of all the things people of faith should be dealing with children are at the top of the list,” Wright said in his speech during the Interfaith Children's Movement's 16th annual “Call to Action” Prayer Breakfast. “A society can be rightfully judged by the way it cares for its children and Georgia gets a failing grade when it comes to children living in poverty.”
The Diocese of Atlanta’s first Freedom School began in 2015 on the campus of Emmaus House in the Peoplestown neighborhood of Atlanta. CDF Freedom Schools®, established in 1995 by the Washington D.C.-based advocacy center, help children and young adults excel and believe in their ability to make a difference.
The CDF Freedom Schools® were inspired by the "Mississippi Freedom Summer Project," organized in 1964 by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Council of Federated Organizations, two leading Civil Rights organizations.
Wright said he chose to bring the CDF Freedom Schools® program to Georgia to close the achievement gap by improving literacy and learning for children who face poverty and lack access to the educational resources they need to succeed.
Like the initial CDF Freedom Schools® program at Emmaus House, the Macon program will serve students from kindergarten through eighth grade. It will aim to motivate young scholars to read and generate positive attitudes toward learning, said Wright. It will also work to empower students to make a difference for themselves, their families, their communities, and their world.