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Alcorn Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Celebration

2012 Freedom School Finale 1

Scholars' expressions during celebration.

Alcorn State, Miss (August 3, 2012) – On July 26, more than 200 scholars, families and friends gathered in the James. L. Bolden Campus Union Ballroom for Alcorn’s first Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School Finale Celebration.

During Finale Celebration nearly 60 exited scholars showcased their talents and what they have learned during the six-week summer enrichment program, which main purpose was to enhance the literacy skills of scholars between kindergarten and 12th grade through activities that boost a positive attitude towards reading.

Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II greeted the audience and addressed scholars families: “You all must be really excited to see your children mature and grow over the summer. We thank you for the chance you gave Alcorn to help and touch the lives of your children. They will become teachers, engineers, doctors - men and women of substance. You have given us your treasure and we gave you back a polished jewel.”

“Every Tuesday afternoon, our scholars participated in a component called ‘Express yourself’ where they were introduced to and taught a talent in theater, dance, verbal expressions and rhythm instruments, and choir,” announced Gralon Johnson, special assistant to the president at Alcorn and co-executive director of the CDF Freedom School program as scholars were getting ready to enter the stage. “They have practiced diligently and tonight will showcase their talents for you.”

The “I am Emmett Till” video depicting Level 4 scholars reading project of the book “Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case” highlighted the scholar’s visit to where the astonishing story took place.

The program continued with scholars and servant leader interns receiving awards and certificates of completion from Kelly Thomas, site coordinator, co-executive director of the program, Dr. Valerie Thompson, and Dr. Carrie Ford, project director. The “Best of the Best” award was presented to scholar Delvin Booker, 11th grader from Bude, Mississippi.

President Brown and Executive Vice President and Provost Samuel L. White were recognized for their efforts to champion the inaugural Alcorn CDF Freedom School.

The program concluded with Civil Rights activist Myrlie Evers, who currently serves as Scholar- -in-Residence at Alcorn, addressing the audience and expressing gratitude to President Brown for his bold leadership.


Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally-competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships which benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation and world.