Success in Challenges to Host Fourth Annual Gala, June 26

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Success in Challenges, Inc. is pleased to announce the celebration of their 10th year of the Long Beach Freedom School. The nonprofit organization will host its fourth annual gala in celebration of the anniversary, June 26, 2014. The annual gala reception will recognize participants, staff and volunteers who contributed to the success of the Long Beach Freedom School over the past 10 years. The gala is the major funding for the Freedom School because the program does not receive funding. The goal is to raise $60,000 this year.

The gala will begin with a silent auction and feature pieces made by children in the Youth N’ Art program. The event will conclude with a wish list opportunity drawing.

Rev. O. Leon Wood Jr., founder and president of Success in Challenges and founder of the Long Beach Freedom School will be the featured guest speaker.

The Long Beach Freedom School, part of the National Children’s Defense Fund, is a six week summer program from July to mid-August. The program provides educational enrichment for children ages 6-14 that boosts motivation to read, develops positive attitudes toward learning, cultivates self-esteem and connects the needs of families to local resources. The core belief of this instructional model is that all children are capable of achieving.

Rev. O. Leon Wood, Jr., founder and president of Success in Challenges, Inc., started the Freedom School in 2005, when he noticed youth member of the North Long Beach Congregation were struggling in school. Since then the program has been growing each year, serving 95 children this past year.

“The Freedom School would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for the parents, volunteers and servant leader interns involvement,” Wood said. “The time and effort they put in helped the program be able to reach out and further more children’s education.”

One reason for the success is the emphasis on providing the students with education that reflects the diversity of the children who take part in the program.

“I hear parents all the time tell me how much this program has helped their children,” Paula Wood, executive director of Success in Challenges, Inc. said. “A parent will tell you that they think their child can get through classes now, or even get into accelerated programs, because of the Freedom School. I have seen children literally transform by the end of six weeks.”

Success in Challenges, Inc. is a nonprofit grass-roots social service agency serving the greater Long Beach community. Founded in 2001 by Rev. O. Leon Wood Jr., Success in Challenges’ mission is to be an advocate for the underserved, and to provide social service programs for low- and moderate-income families, the elderly and the physically and mentally challenged. Success in Challenges provides community youth and adults with five safe, interactive programs that promote good citizenship, character development, creativity and discipline.

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