East Cleveland Freedom Schools reading program gets much needed donations

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - The kids at Freedom Schools in East Cleveland are learning a valuable lesson, one that's not in the pages of a book.

"Today shows that there are people who truly care about what the scholars are going through," Freedom Schools site coordinator Jake Streeter said.

First, the center's funding was cut by $25,000.

Then, the popular summer reading program suffered another blow when a recent storm flooded the church where the kids meet, damaging hundreds of books.

Five On Your Side reached out to Northeast Ohio for help and two major companies responded. GE Lighting donated a $5,000 check for books and supplies and Half Price Books chipped in boxes and boxes of books, including some of the specific titles the program had requested.

"I don't think we focus on reading enough," GE Lighting CFO Bill Lacey said. "To provide the books to the youth, it's a no-brainer and we just feel like it's the right thing to do."

Freedom Schools' online fundraiser to try to replace the $25,000 it lost is still underway at indiegogo.com.

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