What’s the H.Y.P.E. all about?
Waymaker Life Strategies, Incorporated (Waymaker) is a non-profit organization that has been serving children and families in the Sunnyside/South Park communities for 15 years. Waymaker was co-founded by Brandi Brown, an advocate with a long history of partnering with Children’s Defense Fund (CDF).
The mission of Waymaker is to empower people with knowledge for successful living by providing education enrichment services to children and families beyond school hours.
Waymaker helps local organizations and churches to sponsor the CDF Freedom Schools program in communities lacking out-of-school-time activities for their youth.
Through Waymaker’s youth division, Houston’s Youth Program for Enrichment (H.Y.P.E.) was established as the first CDF Freedom Schools site in Houston and the oldest site in Texas. In addition, Waymaker has partnered with numerous agencies seeking to implement the model in the most strategic and effective ways.
What are Freedom Schools?
Freedom Schools implement a curriculum developed by the Children’s Defense Fund. Freedom Schools provide summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increase their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Freedom Schools provide nurturing learning environments using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components:
- High quality academic enrichment.
- Parent and family involvement.
- Civic engagement and social action.
- Intergenerational leadership development.
- Nutrition, health and mental health.
Why are Freedom Schools So Important?
Research shows, children from low-income families have more restricted access to books, both in school and at home, than their more advantaged peers. Poor children are read to less often; have a more limited vocabulary; are particularly at risk of school failure; and are 3.5 times more likely to drop out of high school. In Texas, 70% of public school fourth graders read below grade level.
EDUCATION is the single most effective prevention against poverty, and our goal is to RAISE AWARENESS about the effectiveness of Freedom Schools so that even more Texas children may benefit.