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Freedom School Partners Inc. Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 02/27/2013: Freedom School Partners Inc.

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 09/08/2014: FREEDOM SCHOOL PARTNERS INC

* The GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.

 
Charlotte, NC
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GuideStar Summary

&1002; GuideStar Exchange Committed to transparency ?
This organization is a Silver-level GuideStar Exchange participant, demonstrating its commitment to transparency.

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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2013, 2012, and 2011 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit is available
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Basic Organization Information

Freedom School Partners Inc. Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 02/27/2013: Freedom School Partners Inc.

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 09/08/2014: FREEDOM SCHOOL PARTNERS INC

* The GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
Physical Address: Charlotte, NC 28237 
EIN: 56-2169158
Web URL: www.freedomschoolpartners.org 
NTEE Category: B Educational Institutions
B24 Primary/Elementary Schools
B Educational Institutions
B92 Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement
O Youth Development
O20 Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose
Ruling Year: 2000 
How This Organization Is Funded: The Leon Levine Foundation - $100,000
Bank of America Foundation - $100,000
Wells Fargo Foundation - $75,000


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Mission Statement

To engage, educate and empower children to succeed in school and in life through quality, year-round educational enrichment programs.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Institutional funders should note that an organization’s inclusion on GuideStar.org does not satisfy IRS Rev. Proc. 2011-33 for identifying supporting organizations.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses (IRS Form 990, October 2011)

Fiscal Year Starting: October 01, 2011
Fiscal Year Ending: September 30, 2012

Total Revenue $2,626,668
Total Expenses $2,772,599

Revenue & Expenses

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
IRS Form 990 is an annual document used by approximately one-third of all public charities to report information about their finances and operations to the federal government. GuideStar uses data from Form 990 to populate its database with financial information about nonprofit organizations. Posting Form 990 images on the GuideStar website is an ongoing process.

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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership

(GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

Mary Nell McPherson

Term:

Since Jan 1999

Profile:

For over a decade, Mary Nell McPherson has worked as the Executive Director of Freedom School Partners toward their mission to engage, educate, and empower children to succeed in school and in life through quality, year-round educational enrichment programs.  FSP serves this mission by providing affordable, quality afterschool programs and Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® summer programs for students and families living in poverty in Charlotte.  McPherson has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years and came to Freedom School Partners in January 2000. Her substantial history in nonprofit management includes serving as the Director of Operations for Habitat for Humanity, Charlotte and Support Specialist for Crisis Assistance Ministry.  In October 2009, Mecklenburg Ministries honored Mary Nell with their Community Leader Award for ten years of service in the Charlotte community.  An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she believes that education and the knowledge of God’s love are the keys for children growing into their potential.  Due to the success of Freedom Schools in Charlotte, McPherson was appointed to the national Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Advisory Board in 2011. McPherson is leading Freedom School Partners with an aggressive long term plan for expansion of Freedom Schools in the Charlotte region.  Mary Nell is married to Kevin Strawn with whom she has two college-aged daughters, Mollie and Rosemarie.

Leadership Statement:

Mary Nell McPherson has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years, and came to Freedom School Partners as the founding Executive Director in January 2000. Formerly the Director of Operations at Charlotte's Habitat for Humanity, Mary Nell works to strengthen existing programs while leading the organization to address additional community needs. An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she believes that education and the knowledge of God's love are the keys for children growing into their potential.

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

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Board Co-Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

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Board of Directors (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)
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Board Orientation & Education ?
Why does this matter? Without clarity around their responsibilities and expectations, board members are not positioned to succeed. They may find themselves challenged to fulfill their governance responsibilities or frustrated by the expectations that the organization has set for them. BoardSource recommends that every new board member participate in a formal orientation process, and that all board members sign a pledge or agreement committing to their board service and to all of the responsibilities and expectations that come with service. Ideally, board members also should participate in a formal governance training program prior to serving on a board.

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Response Not Provided
CEO Oversight ?
Why does this matter? Oversight and management of the chief executive is one of the board’s most important legal responsibilities. The CEO or executive director is the board's single employee, and - just like any other employer/employee relationship - regular and written assessment is critical to ensuring that the chief executive and board are communicating openly about goals and performance. BoardSource recommends that boards conduct formal, written reviews of their chief executives on an annual basis, which should include an in-person discussion with the chief executive and distribution of the written evaluation to the full board.

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Ethics & Transparency ?
Why does this matter? A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. BoardSource recommends that organizations review the conflict-of-interest statement and require signed disclosures from all board members and senior staff on an annual basis.

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Board Composition ?
Why does this matter? The best boards are composed of individuals who bring a variety of skills, perspectives, backgrounds, and resources to tackle the complex and strategic challenges confronting their organizations. BoardSource recommends that boards commit to diversity and inclusion by establishing written policies and practices, which include strategic and intentional recruitment of diverse board members, continual commitment to inclusivity, and equal access to board leadership opportunities.

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Response Not Provided
Board Performance ?
Why does this matter? Boards need to regularly assess their own performance. Doing so ensures that they are being intentional about how they govern their organization, which is a critical component of effective board leadership. BoardSource recommends that a board conduct a self-assessment of its performance a minimum of once every three years to ensure that it is staying on track with its roles and responsibilities.

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
Response Not Provided

Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

Highest Paid Employee data is not available for this organization.

People information was last updated by the nonprofit in February 2013

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Programs

Program: (GuideStar Exchange,
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February 2013)

Budget:
--
Category:
Population Served:

Program Description:

Eighty children attend the out-of-school-time program, featuring tutoring, performing arts instruction and field trips. Our staff works with public school teachers to ensure afterschool enrichment complements school-day learning. Parents "pay tuition" by attending parenting meetings and volunteering in their child's public school classroom. Each summer, over 400 children in grades K-8 participate in Freedom Schools, a free literacy based summer camp for children from Charlotte's most challenged neighborhoods. 40 college student interns from 21 different colleges and universities energize summer camp as role models and classroom leaders, inspiring through the "I Can Make a Difference" literacy curriculum. We are increasingly aware of the challenges of summer learning loss for children in poverty, and see ourselves growing to add more Freedom School summer camps in response to this incredible need.

Program Long-Term Success:

We moved to our new home at the Seigle Point Community Center, on the redeveloped site of the former Piedmont Courts Housing Project. This new community includes 204 housing units for low-income families.

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

Program: Summer and Afterschool Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools(R) (GuideStar Exchange,
The GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
February 2013)

Budget:
$2,959,000
Category:
Education
Population Served:
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Program Description:

FSP works to address the problems of the growing achievement gap fueled by summer learning loss for low-income children and the lack of affordable, quality Out-of-School time (OST) learning experiences. Through high-quality, literacy-based afterschool and summer programs for school-age (K-8) children, at no cost to families, we are providing solutions to these problems.  FSP estimates that over 50,000 children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg are in need of quality out-of-school time opportunities. (This conservative estimate is based on the number of CMS students enrolled in the Free-or-Reduced Lunch (FRL) program, a typically under-representative number and the number of quality OST offerings available to families.) FSP has many recent accomplishments of which to be proud. Most recently program evaluation results from summer of 2011 concluded that 61% of participants gained reading comprehension levels and 34% maintained reading levels - translating to success against preventing summer learning loss for 95% of participants. Moreover, this is the third consecutive year that scholar evaluations have resulted in over 90% in gaining and maintaining reading scores.

Program Long-Term Success:

At FSP, we create conditions that help students realize their own potential. For the summer of 2011, our goal is to prevent summer learning loss by offering literacy based curriculum through the Freedom Schools program to approximately 1,000 at-risk youth. This will be measured through evaluation processes established by UNC Charlotte's Center for Adolescent Literacies. The evaluation process consists of a pre-test/post-test single group design with the appropriate 20% sample of participating scholars and will measure students reading comprehension and vocabulary improvement over the 6 weeks of the program. After extensive data analysis results will measure the impact on scholars regarding: literacy, intergenerational servant leadership and civic engagement.

Program Short-Term Success:

The long term goal voted on and approved by the Board of Directors is, "to serve 5,000 area youth by 2016." This will be accomplished through a strategic growth plan and support from our many community partnerships. Another long term goal of FSP is the continued advocacy of Summer Learning Loss and the effects it has on low-income youth. A report by Allington and McGill-Franzen states, "summer reading setback is the main source of the reading achievement gap between poor and non-poor students, and some researchers found the summer setback is due to lack of summer reading activity. Low-income students have more restricted access to reading material at home than advantaged peers." Our work affirms our strong belief that education can truly break the cycle of poverty. We do this by creating a foundation for successful learning through consistent programs aimed at supporting youth to achieve their highest academic potential.

Program Success Monitored by:

In summer 2011, FSP will use a web-based data collect system to monitor attendance, enrollment and output data. Each participant must fill out a program application where participant demographic information is collected. FSP plans to continue our partnership with UNC Charlotte's Center for Adolescent Literacies to provide ongoing evaluation for programming and to learn how successful we have been during the summer to reach our outcome goals. In 2010, the evaluation tools used were The Basic Reading Inventory (Johns, 2005) and the McKenna Reading Attitudes Survey. FSP strives to improve participant attitudes toward reading and thus positively instill a critical life tool.

Program Success Examples:

In the summer of 2009, UNC Charlotte's Institute for Social Capital conducted a pilot evaluation of specific outcomes of FSP participants. This pilot evaluation was designed to assess the extent to which the program (1) increases children's "love" of reading; (2) increases children's reading performance; and (3) maintains or increases children's reading level from the end of the school year until the beginning of the proceeding school year. Research concluded 54% of participants gained in their reading levels, while 29% remained on level. The vast majority of students reported a positive experience with FSP and believed that their reading had improved. For the summer of 2010, FSP and UNCC expanded the evaluation of students to all ten CDF Freedom Schools® sites in Charlotte, obtaining the appropriate 20% sample. Preliminary findings suggest that 90% of participants did not suffer from summer learning loss as a result of FSP programs, with over 60% making gains in reading comprehension. We expect complete results by late October and will forward our findings at that time. Going forward in partnership with the University, we are working to implement an evaluation project that will capture data for a longitudinal study of the multi-year impact of Freedom School compared to a control group of peers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

We work with community partners, offering Children Defense Fund's Freedom Schools® programs in the summer and afterschool, to improve academic achievement, reduce dropout rates, and inspire the love of reading.
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