This summer the Shalom Park Freedom School (SPFS) will be opening its doors for the 9th summer to serve 75 students from Huntingtowne Farms and Sterling Elementary schools that are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. The goals of the SPFS are to provide a six-week program to facilitate literacy and character-building for these scholars. Preliminary research suggests these efforts are making a difference for participants in the Freedom School. Without summer programs like the SPFS, 75% of students from low income homes are estimated to lose 2-3 months of learning over the summer. In contrast, 90% of Freedom School scholars gained or maintained their reading ability.

Want to know three super simple – and fre – ways to support SPFS?

  1. Welcome our Shalom Park scholars – they are our guests.

Our scholars are excited, and it is summer. Smile and wave when passing them in the hallways.

Yes, it can be that simple to show a scholar that they matter, that they are seen. The universal saying “it takes a village” to raise a child rings true. This summer please welcome “our” scholars to our village when you see them on the Shalom Park campus.

  1. Would you be willing to purchase your Amazon items through Amazon Smile?

Here is the link for the Shalom Park Freedom School Amazon Charity List:

It is run through the LJCC amazon smile account. You have to have an Amazon smile account to use it. Purchases will come directly to the LJCC.

  1. Save the date(s)

We need Reading Buddies on Wednesday, July 17 at 1-2:30 PM in Lerner Hall. This is for the Great Day of D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read), an amazing opportunity to connect one-on-one with a scholar and a book. 1-1/2 hours of your time is all we need.

Have just a short window of time? How about 45 minutes? Throughout the SPFS program we need Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday DEAR readers: volunteer opportunities 2:45-3:30 PM.

Please follow the Shalom Park Freedom School Facebook page for information about signing up for this and additional volunteer opportunities in the coming weeks. The volunteer coordinators are working tirelessly to get everything setup to welcome our volunteers – and our scholars. We will post the link to volunteer on the Facebook page and on the Shalom Park Freedom School website,

Want to know additional ways you can help support SPFS?

Snacks! SPFS scholars receive a snack each day – which is 2,025 snacks for the 2019 summer. Donations of non-perishable, individually wrapped snacks (nut free) would be greatly appreciated. Cash or gift card donations from the following would also be appreciated: Harris Teeter, Costco, Food lion, Publix, Trader Joe’s etc. Donations may be dropped off at the JCC front desk, or you may contact SPFS snack chair Maddy Gallant, at

Thank you to everyone in our community for welcoming and supporting the Shalom Park Freedom School.

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