Programs and Campaigns

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Enroll a Child in the Program

Your child could be one of the over 100,000 children who have had a CDF Freedom Schools experience since 1995.

The CDF Freedom Schools program works 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.

If interested in enrolling a child in the CDF Freedoms Schools program please check our listing of CDF Freedom Schools sites and contact the appropriate contact person.

A Day in the CDF Freedom Schools Program

As children enter a CDF Freedom Schools program site at 8:00 a.m., they are greeted and served a nutritious breakfast by caring adults.  With stomachs full, they move on to Harambee!, a time of informal sharing when children and staff come together to celebrate themselves and each other.

In the classroom where servant leader interns facilitate classes of no more than 10 students, children are engaged in reading and theme-based, hands-on activities as outlined in the Integrated Reading Curriculum.  Reading is a cornerstone of the program.  Servant leader interns lead the children in reading excellent books throughout the summer.  These books feature heroes, heroines, and settings that reflect the children's cultural images and history.  Classroom activities related to the day’s reading use one or more of a variety of teaching models, including cooperative learning, role playing, and group discussions, and may include read aloud, paired reading, creative writing, or visual arts.  The range of activities ensures that children with diverse experiences, talents, and levels of confidence in reading and verbal expression are actively engaged.

As the morning draws to a close, D.E.A.R. time is announced and shared by everyone.  To emphasize the importance and joy of reading, children and adults alike "drop everything and read" silently for fifteen minutes, choosing from a rich selection of reading material available from the site library.

At lunchtime the feeling of family and community spirit continues as the children join adults to eat a nutritious meal.  After lunch, children participate in afternoon activities.  These are well-planned music, dance or other culturally enriching activities that are related to the themes presented in the Integrated Reading Curriculum.  Field trips that expand children’s horizons may also fill the afternoons.  The children also may engage in social action projects and rehearse for the summer finale that is performed for parents, friends, and community leaders.

Once the day has ended for the children, servant leader interns and site coordinators meet for the daily debrief to process the day’s activities, discuss the day’s successes and challenges, focus on site logistics and planning, and reenergize for the next day.

The CDF Freedom Schools Recommended Daily Schedule

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast with children and staff
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Harambee!
9:00 - 10:20 a.m. Integrated reading curriculum
reading, conflict resolution, social action
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Morning break
10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Integrated reading curriculum
continued
11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. D.E.A.R.
(Drop everything and read)
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch with children
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Afternoon activities
3:00 p.m.  Dismissal
3:30 p.m. Daily debrief meeting (staff)