“MOM! That was so fun! Can we do it again next year?” HFP alumni shares her reaction to Freedom Camp as soon as she walks in the door. When her mom lets her know the camp is annual, Wren continues, “How many days in a year? I have to wait THAT long to do it again???”
I had the great pleasure of participating in Freedom Camp — An educational event for young people ages 5-12 years on the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday that honors and teaches about the people, events, and music of the Civil Rights Movement, and the efforts for social justice that continue today. The camp is sponsored by Threads of Justice Collective (An informal group of early childhood educators who work together to promote social and cultural justice for all children).
This year’s focus was voting rights. So after our opening circle learning a bit about the hard-fought history of various disenfranchised groups of people finally gaining their rights to vote in this country, we gathered into small groups for some hands-on activities, including Theater of the Oppressed (practice interrupting hurtful scenarios), singing civil rights songs (and making up our own verses related to current concerns), and poster-making. We then marched in the neighborhood before returning for cake in celebration of MLK’s birthday.
It was an educational, interactive, fun and inspiring event for children and adults alike!
Mitra (HFP alumni parent): “How did you feel listening to the stories?”
Thatcher, HFP alumni: “It sounded really unfair. Oh! That would have been a good sign! Fight for Justice! But…Black Lives Matter is more important to me.” (Thatcher talking about the BLM sign he made).
Freedom Camp 2020 from Hawthorne Family Playschool on Vimeo.
To learn more about Freedom Camp for 5-12 year-olds: A one-day crash course in civil rights history: Freedom Camp on MLK Day 2017
To learn about this year’s Don’t Shoot Portland march:Portland groups gather, march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.