Programs and Campaigns

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CDF Freedom Schools® Program

The CDF Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.

More than 113,000--"Scholars"--have had a CDF Freedom Schools experience since 1995 and 14,000 college teacher-mentors have been trained to serve them.  In 2013, more than 11,000 scholars attended 151 different program sites in 87 cities in 27 states.

Ohio has Freedom Schools in 22 sites around the state this summer!  View or download the list of 2015 Ohio Freedom School sites.

For information about starting a CDF Freedom Schools program in Ohio, please contact (614) 221-2244. 

Enroll Your Child Today in the CDF Freedom Schools Program!

Freedom Schools Scholars

Your child could be one of the over 113,000 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. Learn more about the program and how to enroll.

Evaluation Shows the CDF Freedom Schools Model is an Exciting Promising Practice that Yields Positive Outcomes for Children

The Center for Adolescent Literacies at UNC Charlotte conducted an evaluation of the Freedom School Partners’ Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs during the summers 2010-2013 to determine the program’s impact on the reading ability of students served by Freedom School Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina. This evaluation builds on a pilot evaluation study led by the Center during the summer of 2009.

"Empowering the Next Generation Through the CDF Freedom Schools Program"

Marian Wright Edelman

"Close your eyes and think about the words summer school. What comes to mind? If you picture a room full of children clapping, chanting, laughing and learning to fall in love with books and reading, you could be imagining the experience thousands of children across the country are about to have over the next few months as they participate in the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools program."

Read more from CDF President Marian Wright Edelman's Child Watch® Column, "Empowering the Next Generation Through the CDF Freedom Schools Program."

CDF Freedom Schools Introductory Video