EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio – Just as summer vacation began, East Cleveland Neighborhood Center learned its Freedom Schools program would not receive funding from United Way and the 70 children signed up for the program would have one less option for summer learning.

According to a press release from ECNC , the organization was notified the program would not receive funding on June 13, three days prior to its projected launch date. United Way explained it has chosen not to support any of the presented Summer Learning Loss proposals, even though Summer Learning Loss was an idea from United Way as a strategy under the Education Investment Area.

The Freedom Schools program provides summer support for children and families through a model curriculum with five essential components: high quality literacy enrichment, parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational leadership development, and nutrition, health and mental health.

“This decision blindsided our agency and more importantly left us with no time to seek alternative funding for the children of East Cleveland who once again are considered unimportant by those with the power and the means to make a difference,” Dr. John Buckner, ECNC Board President.

In the meantime, ECNC’s Associate Board, made up of young professionals, has created an page to raise the $25,000 through donations from the public. Currently, about $350 has been raised for the program through the page. You can donate to keep this program alive by visiting



Article Courtesy of WEWS NewsChannel 5

Picture Courtesy of the East Cleveland Neighborhood Center and WEWS NewsChannel 5

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