Positive Impact of the CDF Freedom Schools® Program and Related Scholarly Research
Since 1995, more than 150,000 children (K–12) have had the CDF Freedom Schools® experience, and more than 17,000 young adults and child advocates have been trained on the delivery of the CDF Freedom Schools model, which has expanded to 182 program sites nation-wide. Due to the pandemic, the number of K-12 scholars was lower than the average service year. In 2020 many sponsor organizations deferred their summer of service to 2021 and as a result, 2,535 K-8 scholars were served by 38 sponsor organizations.
Children Served Data
2020 Data: Children Served by State
The CDF Freedom Schools program has made a statistically-significant and practically-significant positive impact on students in several ways. In 2019, almost all students either improved (55.3 percent) or maintained (29.2 percent) their reading skills over the course of the six-week program and avoided the two-month summer learning loss suffered by children not participating in summer enrichment. Students reading below grade level at the beginning of the summer experienced the greatest gains.
Through the CDF Freedom Schools program in 2020:
Social Emotional Learning Growth in the CDF Freedom Schools Program
Children 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.
CDF Freedom Schools® Scholar Ratings
Research & Data about the CDF Freedom Schools Program
Research in the Field
The CDF Freedom Schools model has inspired countless researchers in the fields of education, advocacy, policy, and more to write dissertations and conduct research on the impact of various program elements. In an effort to bring this research to the forefront of the field, we’ve compiled a “Research in the Field” database so that interested parties can access recent and compelling papers on the CDF Freedom Schools movement as a whole. If you have research you’d like for us to add to our database, please send us an email with your CV and a copy of your research for consideration.