College of Education faculty, alumni establish new K-12 summer program

faculty, alumni establish new K-12 summer program

A hundred local children will have access to learning programs aimed at curbing summer learning loss and closing achievement gaps, thanks to a collaborative effort of faculty and alumni at Florida State University and Florida A&M University this summer.

The group will help provide an opportunity for children in Leon and Gadsden counties to participate in quality summer enrichment programs.

North Florida Freedom Schools (NFFS), a new nonprofit co-sponsored by Florida State University and Florida A&M University, has been selected by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) to operate two CDF Freedom School six-week summer program sites from June 13 to July 22.

The organization was created in 2015 as a result of NFFS Co-Executive Directors Kristal Moore Clemons and Keely Norris’ past experiences working with the CDF Freedom School program. Norris is an FSU alumna and special education teacher, and Clemons is an assistant professor and director of the College of Education’s online Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership and Policy.
“The goal is to empower K-12 students in low socioeconomic status communities to make a difference through civic action projects, while also staving off summer reading loss using a culturally responsive reading curriculum,” said Alysia Roehrig, NFFS research director and associate professor of educational psychology at Florida State.

Students who participate in the camps will have the chance to take part in diverse afternoon activities supported by organizations in the community, such as the Institute for Research in Music and Entertainment Industry Studies at FAMU, Florida State University’s Center for Sport, Health and Equitable Development, TITUS Sports Academy and the REAL Life Student Program. The students will receive free summer learning opportunities and free meals.

The summer camp teachers, who will be undergraduate students or recent graduates, will have the opportunity to learn about critical teaching techniques.

They also will have mentoring opportunities to learn about the strengths of diverse students and gain experience in conducting research in education.

Faculty will conduct studies with camp participants and their parents to assess their needs and improve the program.

Florida State Associate Professor Joshua I. Newman and Assistant Professors George L. Boggs and Graig M. Chow, along with FSU alumnae Tricia James and Sheila LaBissiere are part of the project team.

Several Florida A&M faculty members also are involved: Associate Professor Peggy Auman, who is also an FSU alumna; Kawachi Clemons, associate professor; Patricia Green-Powell, professor and associate dean, also an FSU alumna; Serena Roberts, director of the Center for Academic Success; and Phyllis Y. Watson, director of the Division of Continuing Education.

To apply for the paid summer internship as a servant leader, visit Applications are due Feb. 18.

To sponsor a child or provide financial support to fund stipends for student leaders, click here or contact Donations made to the FSU Foundation can also be designated to North Florida Freedom Schools.