Our Impact

Our program combats summer learning loss while fostering leadership, literacy, and social responsibility.

Not New to This, but True to This 

CDF Freedom Schools® is where learning comes to life. Since 1995, over 200,000 K–12 Scholars have embraced the CDF Freedom Schools adventure. Plus, we’ve trained more than 20,000 young adults and child advocates in our proven model. In 2023, we teamed up with 128 organizations, reaching over 11,000 children and youth across 191 program sites nationwide. 


K–12 Scholars

have experienced CDF Freedom Schools since 1995


young adults and child advocates

have been trained on the delivery of the CDF Freedom Schools model


children and youth served

in 2023

Research and Data

In 2023, nearly all Scholars improved (55.1%) or maintained (30.0%) their reading skills during the six-week program, preventing the typical summer learning loss. Especially inspiring were the significant strides made by Scholars reading below grade level at the start of the summer. 

Children who participated in the last year’s program responded that CDF Freedom Schools helped them to

  • accurately assess their strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset”.
  • successfully regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations
  • take the perspective of and empathize with others.
  • communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
  • make constructive choices about personal behaviors and social interactions. 

Social and Emotional Learning Skills

Children agreed that the CDF Freedom Schools experience helped them improve in these areas:

Year-over-Year Positive Impact of the CDF Freedom Schools®

2023 Data: Children Served by State 

2023 Sites by State bar chart

2023 Data: Percent of Children Served by Race/Ethnicity

2023 Data: Children Served by Partner Site

A group of school age Black boys standing in a circle. They are doing an activity together and holding their fists to their cheeks.

CDF Freedom Schools

Want to learn more?

Discover how we’re transforming Scholars into confident, motivated leaders of tomorrow. 

CDF Freedom Schools® Overview

Contribute Your Research

Our model sparks academic curiosity, driving research in education, advocacy, and policy. We’ve curated a database, “Research in the Field,” featuring impactful dissertations and studies. To contribute your research, email us your CV and paper for consideration.

Learn more about CDF Freedom Schools Research