Clinton, TN – CDF Freedom Schools® Site at Proctor Institute

CDF asked children, college students and caregivers to “freedom dream” with us. At every site, our partners from the Ink Factory situated a big whiteboard with colorful sticky notes to visually capture what we heard.

About the Site

This summer, we redefined the role of expert to center the lived experiences of the children, youth, and caregivers we serve. In Tennessee, we visited the CDF Freedom Schools® site at Proctor Institute in Clinton. We asked CDF Freedom Schools parents, caregivers to share their experiences and challenges faced in their community and schools.

When asked what is happening in their community or the world that makes it hard to raise children, many shared their concerns on lack of resources for families, gun violence, rural isolation unemployment, and cost of childcare. Key focus areas also included overall health and healing, family economic mobility, and early childhood development.

CDF Freedom Schools community members also offered a response to the question we raised: What should we be doing to make change for the children? The public education system, the lack of Black and Brown teacher representation in schools, and inadequate parent-child time spent together were identified as top issues.

Young girl holding her sibling on her lap.

The State of America’s Children® in


Explore data for the children living in Tennessee, including indicators related to child poverty, health, education, welfare, and more.

Learn More

CDF asked parents to help us identify issues most important to them.


Health and Healing


Just and Caring Communities


Early Childhood Development


Family Economic Mobility


Civic Engagement

We asked our CDF Freedom Schools parents and Servant Leader Interns at Proctor Institute what freedom looks like to them. Here are their responses.

Highlights from our Visit

Learn more about CDF’s site visits in these cities: