Help build the next generation of scholars and leaders. Join hundreds of young adults and child advocates in the movement to empower K-12 scholars to believe in their ability to make a difference. We invite you to experience the transformative effects of participating in a CDF Freedom Schools® program site. Learn more about why participating in a CDF Freedom Schools program can lead to a summer of service, and a lifetime of commitment.
Serve as an Ella Baker Trainer
Each year, exceptional Servant Leader Interns are selected as Ella Baker Trainers (EBTs) to lead the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institutes, provide technical support for new sites and teach Servant Leader Interns how to deliver key program components.
EBTs can train in the CDF Freedom Schools program officially for 5 years, but many commit a lifetime of service to their communities.
EBTs serve as pillars of the CDF Freedom Schools movement.
Serve as Program Staff
Do you have prior experience working in a CDF Freedom Schools site, as an educator, or as a a summer program supervisor? If so, the role of Project Director or Site Coordinator may be a good fit for you!
Please contact the CDF Freedom Schools site in your area to learn more about how you can become a Project Director or Site Coordinator.
College-age young adults and recent college graduates play a key role in the CDF Freedom Schools program in the position of Servant Leader Intern. Each CDF Freedom Schools Servant Leader Intern serves as the teacher for a maximum of 10 scholars.
Please contact the CDF Freedom Schools site in your area to learn more about how you can become a Servant Leader Intern.
Support Your Local CDF Freedom Schools Site
CDF Freedom Schools sites are offered at no-cost to the scholars and families enrolled. As a result, sponsor organizations are always looking for partnerships, in-kind donations, and volunteers that can help them achieve their goals of providing high-quality academic enrichment to their communities. For more information on how you can donate to a local site, volunteer, or collaborate please use our program locator to contact the CDF Freedom Schools site nearest to you.
Our Commitment to Social Action
Each year, all CDF Freedom Schools sites participate in a National Day of Social Action: a collective effort to exercise civic engagement and uplift an issue that is important to our communities. CDF Freedom Schools are committed to demonstrating the importance and power of all types of civic engagement, including protests and demonstrating, direct advocacy to lawmakers, and especially voting. This is emphasized at CDF Freedom Schools in the books that scholars read, in the leadership demonstrated by program staff who are active in community advocacy and organizing, and in the conversations held every day.
During Summer 2020, CDF Freedom Schools scholars organized around the idea of “Vote Because”–emphasizing the power of the vote and the fact that even though children are too young to vote, they have voices and needs that we must all fight for and uphold by voting.
A summer of service—and a lifetime of commitment
Hear from some of our exceptional CDF Freedom Schools program staff
“I have really enjoyed the entire Freedom Schools experience. It really took me out of my shell and I really enjoyed working with the kids… It inspires me to inspire [the scholars I work with] and to keep them motivated. Like, coming [to National Training] and learning about my culture and then going back and teaching them what I learned and that they can advance in society, that really helps my spirit and helps me up their spirits.”
“I applied to a graduate program, the MAT, so that I could become a teacher. So here I am today, teaching, all because of Freedom Schools! …I knew I wanted to work with kids somehow, and once I was with them every day, all day, this is where I found my biggest joy. That’s how Freedom Schools changed my life.”
“I believe that this movement is so important because believe it or not, now that I’m here, I’m learning about my history that I was not taught in a public school and I really appreciate it. So I want to give back to those in DC and just share my light with them, because I’m interested in helping and advocating for children and adolescents.”
“I first started in 2010… the 6 weeks went by and since then I’ve come every year because I’ve fallen in love with it, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of making that difference in myself but also helping students make that difference in themselves.”