Programs and Campaigns

Programs and Campaigns image of kids

Core Beliefs & Educational Philosophy

The core beliefs and educational philosophy that guide CDF Freedom Schools and all CDF youth development programs are:

  • All children are capable of learning and achieving at high standards.
  • Culture and community conditions influence child learning.
  • Appreciation and knowledge of one’s culture engenders self worth and the ability to live in community with others.
  • Education, teachers, and mentors are transformative agents.
  • Literacy is essential to personal empowerment and civic responsibility.
  • Effective teaching requires planning, creativity, and implementation, with reflection and processing.
  • Learning communities that offer a sense of safety, love, caring, and personal power are needed for transformative education.
  • Classroom discipline and management are integral parts of instructional practice.
  • Parents are crucial partners in children’s learning and need supports to become better parents.
  • As citizens, children and adults have the power to make a difference in their communities and be advocates for themselves.

At CDF Freedom Schools programs, children are valued, celebrated, and given opportunities to learn the pleasure of reading and improve their ability to read, while connecting to their culture, developing self-discipline, having fun, and participating in community service and social action. CDF Freedom Schools programs are nurturing environments that promote children’s strengths and abilities, and are not remedial nor oriented around a child deficit model.

CDF Freedom Schools programs are living monuments to the heroes and heroines who worked to achieve the promise of Brown v Board of Education. Well run enrichment programs like CDF Freedom Schools boost the academic achievement of low-income and minority students, and help prepare them to compete in academically strong and diverse student populations.

An effective social movement needs people who are more interested in developing the leadership of others than in being leaders themselves.

—Ella Josephine Baker