As morning chants begin, the children at the Freedom School come alive. Every day of camp starts with messages of self-determination and hope.
I know I can be what I wanna be.
If I work hard at it, I'll be where I wanna be.
The camp is run by the National Center for Children and Families and funded by the Children's Defense Fund and the D.C. government.
Reading is the first priority here, spurred by daily guest readers and reading groups.
“Before I didn't like reading. But ever since we started reading every week, I started to get the hang of it. (I) like to read now,” says 15-year-old Isaiah Banks.
And the campers say while they're at Freedom School, the focus isn't on living in a shelter. Instead, they focus on their potential.
“It motivates us to be the best we can be in the future,” says 11-year-old Sharai Baltimore.