Programs and Campaigns

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CDF Freedom Schools® Program


Start a CDF Freedom Schools® Program in Your Community
Summer 2015 Applications Available Now

The 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.

2014 CDF Freedom Schools Sites Gear Up!

Freedom Schools Scholars

This summer, CDF Freedom Schools partners plan to serve more than 12,700 children in 107 cities and 29 states (including Washington, D.C.). CDF Freedom Schools sites work hard to ensure each child is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in life. Our program boosts student motivation to read, and generates a more positive attitude towards learning and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities. Learn more about the program.

Evaluation Shows the CDF Freedom Schools Model is an Exciting Promising Practice that Yields Positive Outcomes for Children

The Center for Adolescent Literacies at UNC Charlotte conducted an evaluation of the Freedom School Partners’ Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs during the summer of 2010 to determine the program’s impact on the reading ability of students served by Freedom School Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina. This evaluation builds on a pilot evaluation study led by the Center during the summer of 2009.

"Empowering the Next Generation Through the CDF Freedom Schools Program"

Marian Wright Edelman

"Close your eyes and think about the words summer school. What comes to mind? If you picture a room full of children clapping, chanting, laughing and learning to fall in love with books and reading, you could be imagining the experience thousands of children across the country are about to have over the next few months as they participate in the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools program."

Read more from CDF President Marian Wright Edelman's Child Watch® Column, "Empowering the Next Generation Through the CDF Freedom Schools Program."

CDF Freedom Schools Introductory Video