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Oakland Freedom School

Register Your Child in OFS Summer 2014!
June 17 – July 25, 2014

Interested in working for OFS?
Please click Job Opportunities for more information.

Designed to develop academic, cultural and self-confidence, Oakland Freedom School (OFS) is a six-week summer literacy program that uses African American literature and culture to engage children in grades K-8th and their families in developing positive self and community identity. OFS provides leadership training, strengthens academic skills and self-esteem, and supports community improvement opportunities for children in low-income communities.

OFS offers appropriate child and youth development activities, a comprehensive reading curriculum, and academic support services to build study skills and abilities in reading, writing, and science. Low teacher-student ratios, averaging 1 to 10, are the key to the success of OFS.

“97% of parents said that OFS contributed to their children’s success in school. 88% of youth reported that OFS helped them to ‘stay out of trouble.” – Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, City of Oakland Evaluation

Oakland Freedom School has a long tradition of achievement, bridging a critical gap in the literacy of African American children by providing them with small classrooms, highly trained staff, and a stimulating cultural curriculum.

OFS has proven results, consistently receiving the highest marks from students, staff, and parents.

Personal stories and comments from some of our Oakland Freedom School participants:

  • I was introduced to the OFS by attending a field trip with my Afram class at Laney College during 2011 summer session. I had the best experience with the children and staff. The culture focus was what really had me at an aww! To see the children exposed to positive images and leadership is well needed in our community. Once my children became apart of this community the had the same great experience. My girls love OFS and the activities that they had and will return if the opportunity comes again.
  • OFS has my son singing and drumming and wanting more of his culture! It’s a beautiful thing!
  • OFS has implemented a better attitude towards reading and participating in all three of my boys.
  • It was a very nice program for my preschooler to get her started for preschool, it also made her not be afraid to talk or even say things in front others, I love the science field trips.
  • By far, this is the most professional and well-run Oakland Freedom School to date! Letters in the mail and communication via email were very much appreciated. Chartered buses to field trips spoke to the level of organization and attention to detail by program leaders. On one of the field trips, my son’s friend used his money to buy small gifts for all of his classmates. It was a beautiful gesture that showed the culture of generosity and kindness that abounded at Oakland Freedom School.
  • My child loves singing HaramBee Chants at home.
  • My son runs into OFS teachers all the time when were out and about in Oakland and there is always a huge hug. Bro. Reggie wrote him a letter when he was in Africa…the teaching and love doesn’t stop when the program ends. That has been, and continues to be, the biggest impact on my children.
  • Well my child is a loner, it gave him chances to be involved with other children and made it better for us to communicate about the program
  • She likes to read more
  • My children told me they are going to be coming there next year because they need more of these interactions with black people.
  • As a single parent, I have noticed a greater level of self care/respect/esteem that my son has. I definitely believe that it is because of the care and guidance he received from his teacher, Bro. Eric and the rest of the OFS staff. This, along with the activities and curriculum, made him stand taller, become more proud of his heritage and affirm that he has something valuable to share with the world. He really, really, really did not want OFS to end and is regretting having to start at his current elementary school. Thank OFS for such a wonderful program!
  • My son’s experience with OFS was tremendously positive. The best part was that he got to be himself with others like him and be immersed in African culture and history. This made it a truly valuable experience for him because of which he has developed a stronger sense of identity and culture. Also, though he has always been keen on books and having adults read to him, this aspect has become even more strengthened for him. I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in OFS this summer and expect to be a ‘regular’ in the years to come. Asante sana!