Daily Point of Light # 3121 Jan 20, 2006

Decatur Youth Enrichment sponsors a tutorial and reading program during the summer. Jewel Freeman is a part of this program and uses her skills and abilities to help others. Freeman participated each day, and the children benefited from this greatly. Her efforts and dedication gave the participants a great foundation for the school year.

Freeman had a calm demeanor and a sincere desire for the children to learn. Many of the participants under her teaching became more enthusiastic about learning. She was one of the first people that was able to make them see that learning could be fun. Freeman has a philosophy of working hand in hand with the schools and educational institutions because it takes a village to raise a child.

In addition to serving as a tutor, Freeman was also in charge of the summer student workers; and this benefited the students as well. Freeman observed the student workers and was able to target their strengths and weaknesses. Once the participating children were gone for the day, she would identify various skills and skill sets that the student workers need to develop and work with them to do just that. This encouraged the student workers and strengthened their abilities.

Freeman gave of other resources also. If a child had a need that was not met, she would reach into her pocket and make sure it was taken care of. She also generously gave of more time for those who were not involved in extracurricular activities and would provide them with opportunities they may not otherwise have. Freeman was comfortable with participants of different cultures and made sure all the children feel very comfortable. She spoke to the children about diversity but also lived it everyday in her actions – and not in a patronizing way.

Freeman brought more promise to the lives of the students served in the summer program and Decatur Youth Enrichment looks for the same results each year. Freeman is an excellent classroom teacher, and she takes it upon herself to bring this child to the center and work with them one on one. Because of this, not only to the children learn, but their self-confidence soars; and the parents, families and student teachers benefit also.