News and Reports
2019-2020 FSWL and Bridge Course Reports
These reports cover the period immediately preceding the onset of Covid-19, which caused schools around the world to follow the needed quarantine restrictions, with students staying home to stay healthy. Digital learning brought classes into children's homes, if they had computers and internet capability. Our FreeSchools students did not have this opportunity. Many in our school communities contacted Covid-19, but thankfully all of our teachers have now returned to their outdoor classrooms. Classes are open again and, although some time was lost, our students will continue to learn.
Riverside FreeSchool in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Since 2013, FSWL-Canada has partnered with ISPCK in India, first in the building and then in the maintaining of the Riverside FreeSchool in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Since then it has earned the reputation as the area's best academic school and "caring community" in a previously Muslim/Hindu divide. Here are the testimonies of three former students: Aditya Yadav, Mehnaaz Praveen, and Manisha Singh.
2018-19 FSWL and Bridge Course Reports
In many parts of the world, school means learning in a heated or air-conditioned facilities, with a teacher for every grade level or subject, desk and chairs, books, papers, computers, overhead projectors and/or video features, science labs, gymnasiums, libraries, music lessons, sport fields, and food from a cafeteria. A FreeSchool means one dedicated and caring teacher for a class of 20 to 45 students with multi-leveled skills, an empty rice bag as a mat on the ground for each child, a white board, slates, notebooks, pencils and pens, some books, and a strong of desire by each student to learn. Learning to read and write will unlock untold opportunities for these children.
Sue Tennant (1945-2018)
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Sue Tennant, founder and president of FreeSchools World Literacy. Sue and her husband Derek were in Panama visiting friends when Sue died peacefully in her sleep on March 4, 2018. Our deepest condolences go out to Derek to whom she was married for almost 50 years, and also to Sue's family and friends, of which there were many. A celebration of her life is planned in Barrie, Ontario, May 12, 2018. Please contact Derek for details.
Sue was one of my dearest friends, the one who originally inspired me to become in involved with FreeSchools. In 2006 we traveled to India together where we met Sr. Crescence and visited the schools for the first time. During that one-month trip, which also included the FreeSchools in Thailand, we bonded [read my account A Life-Changing Experience]. Our friendship continued through the years, based on our shared spiritual philosophy and devotion to the work being done in Bihar by Sr. Crescence. Words cannot express how much she is missed as we continue with the legacy she started. Please consider making a donation to FreeSchools in memory of Sue's life--a life truly lived for others.
—Saskia Raevouri (co-ordinator Bridge Course program), in the names of Geri Johnson (FSWL-USA) and Robert Coenraads (FSWL-Australia)
Sr. Crescence remembers Sue
August 2017: On April 4, 2018, Sr. Crescence held a memorial service for their beloved benefactor, Sue Tennant, who passed away one month earlier. The ceremony was held in the Ellen White Building adjoining the Bridge Course, within the grounds of the Sacred Heart Convent in Bettiah, Bihar. Besides Sr. Crescence and her staff, the current group of Bridge Course girls were in attendance. We do no have a report of what was said, but do have these images sent to us by Sr. Crescence's assistant, Nitesh Kumar. Click here for more pictures.
Flooding in Bihar
August 2017: The latest monsoon in Bihar has left many of our villages underwater, the families without food, shelter, and clean water! Please click here to read the message from Geri Johnson, president of FreeSchools-USA. Won't you help to bring relief? A special fund has been set up for those wishing to donate via Paypal. You may also visit the general US donations page and earmark your donation.