A sea of smiles from 200 children ages five to 16, surrounded the Supervisor and his wife Mrs. Avis Ridley-Thomas as they arrived at the Interns and Residents Building at the new Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital.
Led by City Year staff to their canvases with smocks on and paintbrushes in hand, these children were ready to paint panels for display on the 900 foot – long Multi- Service Ambulatory Care Center walkway.
The student artists were drawn from several Freedom Schools, a six week summer literacy program in the Second District. As part of the Freedom School Curriculum, Freedom School students read books, illustrate their comprehension through arts, crafts, dance, sports and music, go on field trips, and engage in community service in a nurturing environment that fosters growth and development.
Freedom School’s was established in 1992, by Children’s Defense Fund founder and children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman, Freedom Schools provide rigorous, quality summer and after school instruction to children who live in urban areas. The programming, which is both challenging and entertaining, is based on the belief that all children are capable of learning and achieving high standards.
For the past month, the schools in the second district have taught more than 200 students at the four sites located at: First New Christian Fellowship in South L.A.; Bethel A.M.E. Church in South L.A; Community Coalition at Foshay Learning Center in South L.A; and First Church of God in Inglewood.[pullquote_right]”Your young , intellectual, and creative minds are painting dreams of a bright future,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.[/pullquote_right]
In preparation for the 2013 opening of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas partnered with City Year Los Angeles, the Department of Public Works, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi- Service Ambulatory Care Center to provide Freedom School students with the opportunity to paint the mural.
The finished product was a colorful collage that depicts dreams of a bright future for themselves and their community.
The mural will be displayed in front of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center.