When was Orita's Cross Freedom School Created?
Orita's Cross Freedom School was founded in 2014 and was the result of Dr. Heber Brown III's doctoral studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
When is Freedom School Open?
We're open on days when Baltimore City Schools are closed for Professional Development days and some holidays.
What time does Freedom School begin?
Our school day is 8:00AM to 3:00PM
What ages do you accept?
We accept youth ages 6 and up to 18.
Do you ever accept youth younger than 6?
On very rare occasion.
How much do you charge?
We charge $30 per child.
In the event of financial hardship, we work with families to barter and exchange for services in support of the school. In the past, parents have volunteered at the school and donated food in exchange for a deeper discount on the fee. This is done on a limited basis and is always agreed upon before hand.
How do I pay?
Pay online by registering on our site. We DO NOT accept on-site registration any longer.
What if I register and don't bring my child?
We do not provide refunds. In the event of extreme emergencies, we'll extend a credit for a future session.
Do you provide Before and After care?
Extended Day Service is not regularly available. When it is available we will communicate that beforehand.
How do I stay connected?
Check back to this website for updates. The best way to stay in the loop is to sign up for our e-newsletter and/or "Like" our page on Facebook. (We're also on Twitter and Instagram. Search Orita's Cross)
Tell me about your meals
We serve breakfast and lunch. Our breakfast meals often consist of pancakes, eggs, turkey bacon, fruit, oatmeal, and cereal. Our lunch meals range between lentils, rice, greens, or cheese pizza. Parents are free to pack a breakfast or lunch for their child. We try our best to make accommodations for diet when notified in advance by parents. For extremely limited diets due to multiple food allergies or limited personal food palates, we ask that parents send a packed lunch with your child.
As a rule we do not serve any chicken, beef or pork products.
Is this a state certified school?
Not yet! We are exploring this as a possibility for the future.
Is this a Christian program?
Our main location for our Freedom School is at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, however, this is not a Christian program. It does, however, hold as a foundation aspects of African Spirituality. For example, we start every day by pouring Libation in reverence of our Ancestors.
What do you teach?
We embrace an African Worldview and Orientation in our teaching. Therefore, we study and promote the ways that African communities and cultures have traditionally viewed and understood the world and their place in it. We honor African and African descended wisdom. We teach a profound and unapologetic "love for self" by way of studying African Ancestors, heritage and Black History. We teach and focus on those things that colonial education in public schools will ignore or mischaracterize.
Our pedagogy is strongly influenced by scholars such as Asa Hilliard, Marimba Ani, John Henrik Clarke, and Amos Wilson.
Do you teach Black youth to hate non-Black people?
We teach Black youth to first and foremost love and celebrate themselves without apology. This often clears the path for relationships of mutual respect with non-Black people.