The Freechild Project
The Freechild Project or Freechild, founded in 2001, is an international program connecting young people and social change around the world through a in-person training and a large online web portal for youth and adults. Freechild also provides a variety of training activities, publications, and other tools and partnerships that are strongly related to its website.
The Freechild Project is based in Olympia, Washington, and has reached more than 50,000 youth and adults since 2001 through its training and technical assistance programs. An additional 1,000,000 access the Freechild website, http://www.freechild.org, annually.
"Our mission is to advocate, inform, and celebrate social change led by and with young people around the world, particularly those who have been historically denied the right to participate. The Freechild Project is a resource, training, and consultation program working with individuals and organizations around the world. We focus on a variety of topics, including youth voice, youth-led activism, meaningful youth involvement, and youth/adult partnerships."
Freechild provides a comprehensive online website and free publications for young people and adults around the world. Freechild also provides training and technical assistance regarding youth involvement for community programs, government agencies, and foundations across the United States and Canada.
The Freechild Project is presided over by CommonAction's Board of Directors and supported its staff members, with Adam Fletcher as Freechild's acting coordinator, and recieves expert advice from The Freechild Project Advisory Board, including:
- Scholar and author Henry Giroux of McMaster University, Canada
- Peace Corps Volunteer Andrea Felix
- Washington, D.C. juvenile justice administrator Mishaela DurÃ¡n
- Alex Koroknay-Palicz of the National Youth Rights Association
- Wendy Schaetzel Lesko of the Youth Activism Project
- Service learning practitioner Tara Fayter
- Educator Heather Manchester of Oakland, California
- Community activist LaNovia Meuse of Atlanta, Georgia
- Washington State University student Jason Puz
- University of Texas - Austin graduate student Joe Vavrus
The Freechild Project provides training and technical assistance related to engaging young people in social change to youth-serving community organizations, foundations, government agencies, and at conferences across the United States and around the world. Freechild maintains strategic partnerships with a variety of organizations, including Do Something, National Youth Rights Association, Youth Service America, and others.
Freechild Project publications
- Freechild Guide to Cooperative Games for Social Change (2003) A. Fletcher & K. Kunst. Olympia, WA: CommonAction.
- Freechild Guide to Social Change Led By and With Young People (2006) A. Fletcher & J. Vavrus. Olympia, WA: CommonAction.
- Firestarter Youth Empowerment Curriculum (2001) A. Fletcher. Olympia, WA: CommonAction.
Freechild has been acknowledged by cultural critic Henry Giroux as "especially relevant in getting young people to participate in the realms of politics and critical education." The Freechild Project has also been cited for making theoretical contributions to the field of youth service and youth participation.
The Freechild Project website has garnered a great deal of attention. The School Library Journal reviewed the Freechild website, saying that it is "By far the largest repository of projects, ideas, and organizational links, this resource provides more than adequate information to help students brainstorm ideas in order to start their own initiatives." A 2004 University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension newsletter remarked, "An amazing amount of information on involving youth in social and community action efforts is available on [the Freechild] site. It serves as a fine example of youth-adult partnership with nationwide youth advisors." Freechild has also been reviewed by The Prevention Researcher and the American Planning Association.
Freechild has been implicated in the liberal takeover of the public education system for its work with the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Locally, Freechild's youth training activities have been viewed as suspicious for getting "youth activated to make permanent change", and the program has been identified as communist, apparently for the same reason.
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Giroux, H & Searls Giroux, S. (2004) Take Back Higher Education: Race, Youth, and the Crisis of Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Era. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
- ↑ Lackie, K. (2005) A Service to Whom? International and Domestic Service Programs at Predominately White Private Universities. University of San Diego. p11.
- ↑ (n.d.) Youth Participation in Governance â€¦creating youth friendly communities. City of Halifax. p18.
- ↑ (2005) Web Site Reviews: September, 2005 School Library Journal.
- ↑ (2004) The Gazette University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.
- ↑ Website review: The Freechild Project
- ↑ Mullahey, R. (2003) The Freechild Project American Planning Association Resource Ezine.
- ↑ Rae, D. (2004) The Hijacking of State Schools
- ↑ (2004). Women's Club shares information about educational system after candidates speak, Guest Speaker â€“ Sharon Hanek
- ↑ (2005) Sound Politics Forum
- The Freechild Project - The Freechild website.
- YoungerWorld - The CommonAction blog covering Freechild.
- Freechild's Frappr
- NetSquared - Interview on Freechild's role promoting youth activism using the Web.
- Public Eye Radio Interview regarding Freechild's role in promoting youth suffrage in Canada.
- GlobalLocalPopEd Online Journal - Interview on The Freechild Project's role in educating young people about globalization.
- The Meria Heller Show - Interview on The Freechild Project's role in the youth activism movement.