The Weekly Recognizer

I Can Make A Difference With Hope, Education, and Action

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Freedom School Dates

Monday, June 24th, 8am to Friday, Aug. 2nd, 3:30pm

1444 Southwest Boulevard

Kansas City, KS

Note: There will be no Freedom School on July 4 for Independence Day.

Word of Affirmation:

"The more you refuse to hear my voice, the louder I will sing!" ~Labi Siffre from Something Inside So Strong

Check out our Freedom School site!

The Interns have been working hard getting ready for the start of Freedom School! Take a look below to see their classrooms!

Meet This year's head staff:

Ms. JeT'aime

This will be Ms. JeT'aime's 13th year with Freedom School. She started as an intern at the King Soloman Missionary Baptist Church site in 2000. Ms. JeT'aime is our Project Coordinator for Rainbow Freedom School. She is originally from Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from Washington High School in 1998. She majored in social work and graduated from Bethel College in 2008. After graduating, she began working for the Mennonite Central Committee. In her free time Ms. JeTaime enjoys playing her violin, reading, journaling, and exercising in nature as much as possible!

Mr. Ashford

My name is Ashford Collins-Johnson and I have been serving in the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools for four years. I am currently a first year Site Coordinator and have just completed my first year as an Ella Baker Trainer. I reveal these experiences about myself to others because without them you would not understand the opportunity and direction this program has provided me. Previously, I completed my first year of teaching Sixth Grade Language Arts and coaching football and track. The motto I live by now that I work in the field of education is this, “MidAmerica Nazarene University provided me my degree; Freedom Schools provided me the passion to educate.”

Ms. Rachel

Rachel is the Executive Director and Enrollment Coordinator of Rainbow Mennonite Freedom School. Rachel started working with Rainbow's Freedom School in 2009 when she began working for Rainbow Mennonite Church as their Community Service Coordinator. She has her Master in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. She said, "I greatly enjoy working with our Freedom School families and seeing the multiple ways Freedom School positively impacts the community."

Ms. Kaycee

This is Ms. Kaycee's first year working with Freedom School. She works in the office and is the Coordinator for the Junior Servant Leader Interns. During the school year, Ms. Kaycee works at a dentist's office as a dental assistant. She is very crafty and enjoys scrapbooking and crochet.

Meet This Year's Servant Leader Interns:

Ms. V

My name is Ver-Lyssa Timms. Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas . I am currently a sophomore at the University of Central Missouri. I am studying Elementary Education, and I am currently a Track and Field athlete at the University Of Central Missouri. I enjoy dancing and having fun with my friends in my free time.

Ms. Kaycee

Ms. Kaycee is a fun loving woman who is creative and excited to work with our scholars! She will take over for Ms. Eboni's class of Level 2's and enjoys working closely with each of them. She is a dental assistant during the year and loves to be crafty!

Ms. Claire

Ms. Claire is studying Elementary Education at Kansas State University with an emphasis in Special Education. This is her second year working at Rainbow Mennonite Freedom School and is excited to have Level 1 scholars! She is also the webmaster for the online newsletter. She loves to stay active, sing and spend time with her family. She graduated from Shawnee Mission West High School in 2011 and is planning to graduate from K-State University in December of 2014.

Check our her website at:

Mr. Mike

My name is Michael Saunders. I am a second year intern for CDF Freedom Schools. I am a Kansas State graduate and a United States Army Reservist. Since my first year with Freedom Schools, I’ve gone on to work as an In-School Suspension Monitor. The job is rewarding in the sense that I am working with children who are in need of not only academic skills, but also life skills. Freedom Schools and all those associated with the teaching of interns and scholars have impacted my life in a way that has challenged me to give more of myself to the future generations than I thought possible.

Ms. Jessica


Parents/Guardians and Scholars, my name is Ms. Jessica and I am a Servant leader Intern. I am a Senior Music Education Major attending Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. I aspire to be a music teacher and give back what has been given to me and more. This is my second year at the Rainbow Mennonite Church freedom School and I will be teaching Level 2 this summer. I hope to bring a positive change that inspires the scholars to make a difference.

Ms. Elizabeth

Ms. Elizabeth will graduate from the University of Kansas in 2015 with a degree in Political Science and Economics. She is proud to be one in a huge family and loves sports. She is a basketball fanatic! This will be her first year with Freedom School as a Level 3 Intern. Her hope for the future is to become a U.S. immigration lawyer or criminal justice lawyer.

Mr. D

DeAndre Jones, Age 20, is From Kansas City, Mo . He is a first year Intern. He is a Freshman student at Missouri Western State University as a Health And Exercise Science Major . He graduated from Raytown High School. He Enjoys music and writing. He hopes to bring a lot of excitement and joy to Freedom school. DON'T MAKE HIM GET HYPE!

Ms. Meme

Ms. Meme attends Northwest Missouri State University and is studying Psychology and Social Sciences. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri. This will be her first year with Freedom School and she will have Level 1 scholars!

Mrs. Chelle

Mrs. Rachelle Brake aka Ms. Chelle is currently a junior at UMKC majoring in Psychology. This will be her first year as a Freedom School Intern. She is a child of six and is a goofy, silly person who loves to have fun! :) She is happy and excited to be an intern this summer!!

Ms. Holly

This is my first year being servant intern at Rainbow Mennonite Freedom School. Last year I enjoyed being a Before and After school Care Coordinator for Freedom School. I loved making relationships with the kids and planning activities for them. Being a Before and After School Care Coordinator inspired me to apply to be a servant intern and I am very excited to have this opportunity. I have always had a passion for working with people, especially youth and I thank God for giving me this wonderful opportunity to fulfill my dream with Freedom School. This next year I will be fifth year at Kansas State University majoring in Family Studies. I hope and pray God will lead me to a career working with youth ministry someday. I want all kids to have the same confidence to be whoever they want to be and I want to be a person who can inspire them. I would like to thank the Rainbow Mennonite congregation and Rachel Hostetler for giving to Freedom School so these kids can have a fun summer making a difference for themselves and the world.

Meet the Cooks

Ms. Laura (left)

This is Ms. Laura's second year working with Freedom School. During the school year, she works as an elementary school kitchen manager. A fun fact about Ms. Laura is that she love to go kayaking.

Ms. Margaret (right)

This is also Ms. Margaret's second year working with Freedom School in the kitchen. During the school year, she works as a teacher's aide at an elementary school. A fun fact about Ms. Margaret is that she is from Ireland!

Meet the Junior Servant Leader Interns (SLI)

Mr. Mariol

This is Mr. Mariol's 6th year at Freedom School and first year as a Junior SLI. He is 15 years old and will be starting 10th grade this fall. An interesting fact about Mr. Mariol is he is from Albania.

Ms. Samm

This is Ms. Samm's first year with Freedom School. She is 14 years old and will be starting 9th grade in the fall. A fun fact about Ms. Samm is that she likes to play soccer.

Ms. Alejandra

This is Ms. Alejandra's 1st year working with Freedom School. She is 16 years old and will be starting her junior year in high school in the fall. One of Ms. Alejandra's hobbies is volunteering and loves working at Freedom School!

Mr. Evan

This is Mr. Evan's 7th year with Freedom School and his first year as a Junior SLI. He is 15 years old and will be starting 10th grade in the fall. A cool fact about Mr. Evan is he likes to play with legos.

Mr. Michael

This is Mr. Michael's first year with Freedom School and first year as a Junior SLI.

Ms. Erin

Ms. Erin started with Freedom School as a scholar and is happy to be back as a Junior SLI. This will be her second summer helping as a Junior SLI.

Celebrate Kansas Voices: Rainbow Freedom School

Special Guests!

This week we had the privilege of having two previous interns come and visit the site!

Mr. Phil was an intern for the summer of 2008! He came as a read aloud guest and was very happy to see lots of familiar faces! It is awesome that so many scholars have been with the program so long and are able to share stories with the visiting interns!

Ms. Ellen was also visiting this week. She worked with Freedom School for 4 summers from 2008-2011 as an intern and left to join the Peace Corps! Ms. Ellen has been in Tanzania for two years now and returned after a two week vacation this past Friday. It was so incredible of her to spend one of those days in the United States with us at Freedom School! Along with being a read aloud guest, Ms. Ellen shared about the Tanzanian culture with the scholars during an afternoon activity. Scholars learned a song in Swahili and lots of interesting facts about how the Tanzanians live!

Photo Gallery

Star scholar of the week!

The star scholar of the week is someone who was caught doing an excellent job showing off the Freedom School Way! Their name was put into the Star Scholar Jar and they were the lucky name drawn at the end of the week!

This week's Star Scholar is Alex from Ms. V's Class!

Alex was nominated because without being asked, he cleaned up Ms. Claire's table even though it was not his mess to clean up! What a great example of the Freedom School Way!

Alex is a Level 1 this year in Ms. V's class, he will start 3rd grade in the fall.

Some hobbies he enjoys are playing soccer, basketball, and football and his favorite book is Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This is Alex's 3rd year with Freedom School.

Here are some words from Alex:

What is your favorite thing about Freedom School?

"When we get to play in the park and play football outside with friends!"

What do you want to be when you grow up?

" A police officer so no one will be robbed or anything bad happen."

If you could do one thing to change the world what would you do?

"I would change how bad people are mean and make them nice and tell them to not be mean anymore."

Any words of advice for future scholars?

"If someone is being bullied then be calm, relax and walk away. Then if that doesn’t work then they should tell an intern."

Vegetable of the week!

Our community garden provides Freedom School with fresh vegetables that our lovely cooks, Ms. Laura and Ms. Margaret, prepare for us to eat at lunch everyday!

This week our focus vegetable are Greens!

Some nutrition facts about greens include:

  • They're loaded with disease-fighting beta-carotene and offer respectable amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and fiber
  • As fat-fighters, collard greens provide few calories but fill stomachs with some fiber and furnishing nutrients galore
  • Greens are superb sources of vitamin A, mostly in the form of beta-carotene, which has been shown to help protect against cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and other diseases of aging through its antioxidant properties

facts found on:

Featured Classes

This week's featured classes are Ms. Jessica and Ms. Meme. Ms. Jessica teaches Level 2 and Ms. Meme teaches Level 1!

Ms. Jessica's Class:

Ms. Jessica is doing an amazing job with her scholars. They have done lots of fun activities like with the book Have you Filled a Bucket Today? They got to make paper buckets to practice filling them with positive words of affirmation by writing nice things on slips of paper.

Ms. Meme's Class:

Ms. Meme has been working hard helping her scholars absorb as much knowledge as they can contain in their weeks at Freedom School with her. When they read The Juice Box Bully last week, they decorated a paper juice box with ideas of ways to stand up to a bully. They also talked about why people may act like bullies and that by showing them kindness, they could change their actions.

Integrated Reading Curriculum

Week Three's Book List!

Level 1:
  1. Destiny's Gift by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
  2. The Storyteller's Candle by Lucia Gonzalez
  3. Have you Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
  4. The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson and Maria Dimondy
  5. Baby Flo by Alan Schroeder

Level 2:

  1. Coming Home by Floyd Cooper
  2. Have you Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
  3. Mr. Lincoln's Way by Patricia Polacco
  4. A Season for Mangoes by Regina Hanson

Level 3:

  1. All the Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers

LAST Parent Meeting

Tuesday, July 30th, 6-8pm

1444 Southwest Boulevard

Kansas City, KS

This is the last day to plan for the Carnival! Please join us!