Youth Development

Free to Be Me Inc.

  • Sanford, FL
  • www.freetobemeinc.org

Mission Statement

Our nonprofit organization's primary mission is to promote family unity by empowering parents and their children with the skills required to improve family literacy  and student academic skills. The intent is to break any barriers to student academic achievement through program activities that promote literacy. This corporation also targets many concerns of the community and seeks to revive the community through economic and educational resources.

Main Programs

  1. Central FL Freedom School

Sign in or create an account to view revenue data

Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

We serve the Central Florida area and have clients from Lake, Seminole, Volusia and Orange Counties.

ruling year

2005

Principal Officer since 2004

Self-reported

Dr. Gail Choice

Keywords

Self-reported

Freedom Schools Free to Be Me, Reading Programs College student internships, Juvenile Justice Prevention

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2013, 2011 and 2010.
Register now

EIN

16-1699270

 Number

7144758878

Also Known As

Central Florida CDF Freedom School

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Neighborhood Center, Settlement House (P28)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Student's (scholars) engaged in the scholars’ reading abilities benefited directly from participation in Freedom Schools.  Children who participated in the six week summer literacy program made positive gains in reading. Additionally,   comparison students enrolled in other academic programs improved their reading more than students who were not enrolled in academic programs, but neither group improved as much as Freedom Schools scholars improved.

Scholars demonstrated positive character development from participation in Freedom Schools.  Parents of Freedom Schools scholars see more positive changes than parents of comparison students see among their children in attitudes toward learning, community involvement, conflict resolution skills, acceptance of responsibility and social adjustment.

Freedom Schools  increase the effectiveness of parent involvement with their child's school.  The parents of both Freedom School scholars and comparison students are highly involved in their children’s education.  However, Freedom Schools helps parents do a better job supporting their children’s academic development. 

College Servant Leaders who were liberal arts majors chose to enter the education profession. One was hired as an English teacher at a local high school. A second was hired as a permanent substitute teacher at an elementary school.

Freedom Schools chose to examine Qualitative measures that include the improved literacy and quality of life gained through participation in Central Florida Freedom Schools. More specifically, qualitative measures of success achieved were:

Improvement in parent/child relationship as evidenced by the amount of time parents report spending on learning activities on Parent Survey
Increase in parental sense of autonomy as evidenced by comments on learning activities on Parent Survey
Heightened feelings of self worth in parents and children as evidenced by comments by parents and conversations at parent workshops
Increased awareness and compassion for their community

Goals for 2011

Create a new education vision for children with low resources through the Freedom School summer program and after school program
Motivate young people to become active and critical participants in their communities able to produce solutions to problems and develop a better society for both African American and Euro America citizens
To intervene in the "birth to prison pipeline"

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Central FL Freedom School

Free to Be Me, Inc offers a signature program each summer. The program has 50 scholars and a ratio of one servant leader intern per 10 scholars. Scholars engage in an intergenerational experience that provides an integrated reading curriculum in the mornings and visual and performing arts in the afternoon. Families attend weekly workshops that assist them in helping their children achieve in school, strengthening relationships and developing financial literacy. Scholars also engage in service learning, conflict resolution and weekly field trips tied to the thematic books they are reading.  Community members come in and share their life experiences and perform read alouds.

Category

Youth Development, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Other Named Groups

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$61,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Florida

We serve the Central Florida area and have clients from Lake, Seminole, Volusia and Orange Counties.

Funding Needs

Our  needs are many. However, we do have a few pressing needs. We are in need a permanent location for our summer project. We have relocated 4 times in the past seven years and our families would greatly benefit from stability.  Our summer program requires annual fund raising of $32,000 for stipends training and travel for college interns, rent, field trips, books, materials and supplies. We need expertise to develop an after school program. Our board has been wonderful, however, an infusion of fresh ideas from new board members is needed. Annual funds are needed to implement a no cost after school program modeled on the current successful summer program

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Sign in or create an account to view assets data

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2013, 2011 and 2010
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Get all this now for free
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Free to Be Me Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2013, 2011 and 2010
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Dr. Gail Choice

BIO

The current Executive director is an assistant professor in Teacher Education at Stetson University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in reading, literacy and language. She has taught similar courses at the University of Central Florida, University of Florida and Stetson University. Experience as an assistant principal prepared her for program development and coordination. For the past seven years she has developed and implemented programs that target literacy and education issues for under served populations. Other accomplishments include a handbook on teaching bilingual students to read, providing professional development o Florida teachers statewide on teaching reading and improving FCAT test scores.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The sobering facts that propelled the founding of our organization also led the development of a program that uniquely addresses these societal issues. Our 6- week program takes an inter-generational  approach, that brings the community together, addresses the minority achievement gap, literacy, family relationships, financial literacy, cultural awareness/enrichment, conflict resolution and servant leadership. We are also unique because we do all of this to make a difference in children's (grades K-12) lives at no cost to poor and struggling working families."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Dr. Anita Gail Choice

Stetson University

Term: Jan 2011 - Dec 2014

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

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

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?