As we have gotten to know our community through outreach and bible study, we realized that many of our kids were lacking basic reading skills. We spent time mentoring kids in the local elementary schools and saw first hand the challenges they were facing in the learning environment. We knew this was going to be a problem we wanted to address. Our Education initiatives include the following:
In 1999 we started after school tutoring emphasizing reading and math. This program is still conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30pm-6:00pm. Times are flexible based on the availability of the tutor. Freedom Fire screens and recruits the students from our neighborhood activities. Relationships are important, so tutors meet consistently with the same student each week, building friendship along the way. Training and background checks are required for tutors. This is a great way to deeply impact and prepare our students for their future.
Volunteers sometimes feel that they can’t help in this area because “it’s been too long since I had algebra myself!” Don’t worry, most of our tutoring kids are in grade school, and much of the work is helping the kids catch up who are behind in reading and math skills.
And this is a super way to meet a number of our best kids, and make a meaningful impact!!
In 2006 we added a scholarship program starting with 3 students at Kansas City Christian School in Prairie Village. By 2012 we have grown that program to 15 kids, with the goal of 18-20 students joining the program in the fall of 2012. The kids range from grade school to high school. We provide daily transportation and thorough tutoring. The atmosphere in the school fosters Christian character and excellence in education. The cost per child for this program is $6000 per year covering the scholarship and transportation costs. If you are interested in volunteering to tutor a child or helping with the costs, please contact Bruce McGregor at 816-726-0077.
In the fall of 2011 we partnered with Lynn & Jean Rundle in their pilot program Lead to Read. This has become a key initiative of our Educational program.
We facilitate a weekly in-school reading program called Lead to Read. We have 7 classrooms in five schools that participate. We are in need of Readers and subs for this program. We have been amazed by the growth in the reading scores and the enthusiasm of the volunteers, students and the schools themselves. This program has come under the governmental umbrella of Freedom Fire’s sister organization, Freedom Works Development Corporation. The Kansas City Missouri School District and Kansas City Kansas School District have been welcoming partners for this program. This program is unique in it’s approach. It’s a collaborative program with teachers and administrators.