Programs and Campaigns

Programs and Campaigns image of kids

For more than 40 years, CDF has worked closely with state and local child advocates as well as national and state organizations serving children to level the playing field for children through a variety of campaigns and initiatives.  From our award-winning Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign, to the Black Community Crusade for Children and more recent Health Coverage for All Children Campaign, CDF has worked to educate the public on our children at risk and provide them with the necessary tools to apply pressure to the political establishment to improve the lives of children.

Our current campaigns and programs build upon this long legacy of success by empowering communities and advocates to create the change our children urgently need.

CDF Freedom Schools® Program

CDF Freedom Schools enrichment programsThe CDF Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. Learn more about the CDF Freedom Schools program and how you can get involved.

Youth Leadership and Development Training

CDF is committed to training and equipping the next generation of young adult leaders who will lead their communities in caring for, protecting, and advocating on behalf of children.  Our Youth Leadership Network for Children encompasses a number of programs including CDF Internship program, the Beat the Odds® Scholarship program, CDF Freedom Schools program, and the Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT®) program.

Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Campaign

The Cradle to Prison PipelineThe Cradle to Prison Pipeline is an urgent national crisis that leaves a Black boy born in 2001 with a one in three risk of going to prison and a Latino boy with a one in six risk. The prison pipeline is fueled by pervasive poverty, racial disparities, inadequate health and mental health care, gaps in early childhood development, disparate educational opportunities, chronic abuse and neglect, and overburdened and ineffective juvenile justice systems.  Through community summits and educational and advocacy resources, CDF is working with partners across the country to develop action plans tailored to dismantle the pipeline in their community. Read the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® report and factsheets and learn more about how you can get involved.

Faith-Based Action Programs

For more than 20 years, CDF has worked closely with national religious leaders and organizations, state and regional bodies, and local congregations, leaders, and lay people. Religious people and organizations—with millions of members, deep roots in communities across the country, a history of caring for children, and moral authority—are indispensable to building a successful Leave No Child Behind® movement. Each year CDF produces the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths® manual for faith communities to utilize in lifting up children’s needs and advocating on their behalf. Learn more about the Children’s Sabbaths and upcoming conferences for faith-based advocates.

Black Community Crusade for Children

The Black Community Crusade for Children (BCCC) was quietly launched in 1990 to combat one of the worst crises the Black child and family faced since slavery. Over the past two decades, BCCC’s successes include the CDF Freedom Schools® program; the Harlem Children’s Zone; youth leadership development programs which have trained 20,000 young leaders; economic empowerment work in 77 “Black Belt” southern counties; and the placed-based policy work of PolicyLink.

Now as the crisis has deepened BCCC leaders have launched the second phase of the campaign 20 years later calling on the Black community to stand together for all children. Key Black leaders representing millions of Black stakeholders have taken up the challenge, including nine Black faith denominations, and will recruit others to action to save the Black child and strengthen the Black family. Learn more about the BCCC, download new research and reports on the challenges Black children face, watch videos of BCCC leaders addressing the problems and join the movement to save our children.