Freeman Portal Information

Henrico Education Foundation sponsors the Richmond Portal at Freeman High School

Driven by a student-generated idea and proposal, Freeman High School and the Henrico Education Foundation have partnered with global non-profit Shared Studios from February 17 - March 1, 2020, making Douglas S. Freeman High School the first public school in Virginia to host a Shared_Studios’ Portal on campus. This will give Freeman's 1,800+ high school students a glimpse into the lives of people from various cultures around the world.

The Richmond Portal is one of 60+ Portal sites around the world where individuals, in this case students, can step into an immersive audio-visual live interaction with individuals in other parts of the world with the goal of learning from one another and becoming empathetic, informed global citizens. For two weeks, the portal site on Freeman’s campus will connect students with experts, artists, every-day passersby and other students around the world through innovative deeper learning lessons. The Portal will also be open for organic interactions between Freeman students and individuals in other portal sites, including Kabul, Afghanistan, a displaced persons camp in Uganda, and a school in Tampico, Mexico during which students will gain a new perspective through meaningful interactions with people and places they might not have experienced otherwise. The Freeman Portal will expose students to the skill of Global Citizenship and is an example of the student-owned, authentic and connected, and anytime/anywhere pillars of deeper learning.

Working with the Richmond Portal Community engagement team and Shared_ Studios curators around the world, teachers proposed lessons to use this learning tool to enhance their curriculum while incorporating global citizenship into their curricula. Lesson examples include Spanish language students practicing skills with a school in Mexico whose students will practice English, photography students learning from artists in a refugee camp who are using that medium to tell their story to the world, and art and Geometry students learning from street artists who uses ratios in their design. English Learners and international students will serve as portal ambassadors, educating other students about culture and language in the connecting sites. These authentic learning experiences will enable students to learn about the world from others, hone their communication skills, and grow as global citizens.

The Freeman Portal Project is sponsored by the Henrico Education Foundation (HEF), which promotes innovation in teaching and learning across Henrico County’s 70+ schools.

While at Freeman, the Portal will also be open to the public on the weekend of February 21 and that schedule, along with more information on Freeman’s partnership with the Richmond Portal, can be found at www.freemanportal.org. This three-minute Shared Studios video paints a picture of what our students will experience.


    • Funded through Henrico Education Foundation sponsorship
    • Connects Freeman students with individuals in 60+ places around the world in live conversation
    • Teacher-generated lesson plans will drive the connections, integrated into content curricula
    • HLP Links: Global Citizenship, Communication, Anytime/Anywhere, Student-Owned, Community Supported
    • Two weeks: 2/17 – 3/1 with some availability to Henrico community
    • This is a student-generated instructional program

Worldwide Portal Locations: