Freedom School Ministry

Summer Literacy Program for At-Risk Children

Our parish’s Freedom School Ministry (now in its 6th year) hosts 3 weeks of the program held at the Oakhurst STEAM Academy on Monroe Rd.  Freedom School is a summer program that provides literacy and character building skills, as well as nutritious meals, for disadvantaged children in our community.  Programs are hosted by local churches and other groups and led by college interns.

Among many tasks, we recruit and provide volunteers, coordinate a Teen Advisory Board, and raise money to sponsor students.  Your generosity through the Christmas Giving Tree and our parish tithe are helping partially sponsor some of the children who live in apartments our HOM/SHIP Ministry set up, helping transition their families out of homelessness.  Freedom School provides critical summer support for these at-risk children.  The cost for each child to attend the program is $1500.

Many volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are available throughout the year to ensure the success of this growing ministry.  

Freedom School Volunteer Opportunities at St. Gabriel


Questions?  Contact Ministry Leader Laura Hull at

Volunteer Title When Needed Description Contact
Food Delivery Volunteers Dates TBA - summer

Help pick up food bags provided by Second Harvest Food Bank and deliver them to our Freedom School families at Oakhurst STEAM Academy.   There will be a range of hours during those days which is TBD.  Volunteers need a truck, SUV, or van to haul the bags of food.

Contact Laura Hull at
Reading Buddy Date TBA - summer

Be a reading buddy during Freedom School Partners’ city-wide One Great Day of D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) at 1:00 pm.  Spend an an hour sharing books and enjoying time together.  Volunteers may stay after reading time to enjoy craft activity until 2:15pm.  Location is Oakhurst STEAM Academy, 4511 Monroe Road.  Park in the main parking lot and follow signs to the office.  Staff will guide and assign you to a classroom. Need pointers on actively reading with children?  Check out READ Charlotte's "ABCs of Active Reading" video.


Fundraising Volunteer


Coordinate submitting application for funds to the Tithing Committee; help coordinate the tags for the Angel Tree and plan other fundraising activities Contact Laura Hull at
Teen Board Coordinator

Assist with promoting, recruiting and scheduling teen volunteers to help in the summer.

Contact Laura Hull at

Supply Shopper Coordinator  Spring/early summer

Shop for specific materials for the curriculum activities.  A new shopping list is provided each week for our 3 weeks, and supplies are due back the following week.  Shoppers can sign up for one or more weeks.  Reimbursement is available.  (Adults only.)


Contact Laura Hull at

Intern Appreciation Coordinator

Spring/early summer Coordinate creation of appreciation bags for teachers (college interns) to be distributed in the summer at Freedom School. Contact Laura Hull at

On-site Activity Leader at Freedom School

Summer Share a hobby/skill/passion with a class at Freedom School.  This is a one-time commitment just one afternoon (45 - 90 minutes).  Contact Judy Fahl at
Reader Summer Read a short book to a group at Freedom School. This is a one-time, 30-minute commitment Contact Chris Ryskiewich at
Sponsor a child On-going Donate any amount toward sponsoring a child in the 6-week program.  Additional funds will enable participation by more children from our HOM Ministry program (moving  homeless families into apartments). Send checks (made payable to Freedom School Partners, with "St. Gabriel" in the memo line) to:  Freedom School Partners, PO Box 37363, Charlotte, NC 28237.  Contribute online at, and put "St. Gabriel” in the site designation box
Ideas for Youth & Teens On-going Host a lemonade stand or bake sale and help another child participate at Freedom School.   

Host a book drive (high need for grades 3-5 books) or collect classroom supplies from a supplied list.

Contact Laura Hull at



Why Freedom School? 

Freedom School ensures that low-income children maintain or gain reading ability during the summer through a unique six-week program that unlocks their long-term potential by igniting their passion for reading and learning.  We do this by creating rich and vibrant classrooms of discovery in collaboration with diverse community partners.  Learn more here.


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