Farmingville, NY – Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright was an invited guest at the August 17 closing finale for this year’s Freedom School scholars. The renowned summer enrichment program is geared to ensure that all students get a quality education. The motivational closing ceremony took place at the Tabler Center for Arts, Culture and Humanities on the Stony Brook University campus. Stony Brook University stands alone in the nation as the only university that houses and fully funds Freedom School, which was conceptualized by Marian Wright Edelman, Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. The Children’s Defense Fund has continued to administer this program nationally.Dr. Charles Robbins, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and director of Freedom School, began the program with a reading of Langston Hughes’ poem, Let America be America Again. The Vice Provost for undergraduate education and Dean of undergraduate colleges, Robbins also recognized Councilwoman Cartright for her support, advocacy and frequent participation as a guest reader for the students. “Freedom Readers” is part of the robust curriculum.“I congratulate these scholars. This year-six milestone of ‘hope, education and action,’ is a culmination of commitment. These individuals are inspiring. Their passionate advisors, creative student leader interns, model supporters, and all these selfless parents and caregivers are working in harmony. They challenge and charge these youth with the responsibility to ‘touch it, read it, learn it, teach it…’ and they deserve our gratitude. In the words of the school’s daily mantra, ‘Harambe,’ this school is the living example of ‘Let’s Pull Together,’ said Councilwoman Cartright.The entire student body celebrated with stirring song, dance and stepping presentations. For their exemplary school efforts, three lucky students were each presented a gift of a “Big Ripper” bicycle from Darnell Meyers, aka “Dblocks" (right photo). Popular with youth and a humanitarian, he is known as the undisputed “king of the streets” and is the face of the exploding #BIKELIFE movement.
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