By Susan Frey
More than 100 African-American and Latino students mill around a South Los Angeles high school gymnasium, talking and greeting each other on a summer morning. But at 8:30 a.m., they begin clapping and chanting, coalescing into a pulsating, high-energy force.
“G-o-o-d-m-o-r-n-i-n-g Good morning!” they shout. Clapping, then raising their fists, they are on the move, some circling the gym, some weaving in and out, all laughing. A group of older boys raise a younger boy up high. Clap. Clap. “P-o-w-e-r. We got the power! Good morning!”
Credit: Susan Frey/EdSource TodayStudents clap and chant to start their day at the summer program.
Each day of this eight-week summer camp for 3rd- through 12th-grade students begins with group chanting called “Harambee” or “let’s pull together” in Swahili. The camp is part of Freedom Schools, a national summer program that helps low-income African-American and Latino students build their literacy skills, understand their history and become leaders in their schools and communities.