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CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND
FREEDOM SCHOOLS®

Program Overview


"The mission of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is to ensure every child a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. The CDF Freedom Schools® program provides summer and after-school enrichment through a research-based and multicultural program model that supports K-12 scholars and their families through five essential components: high quality academic and character-building enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational servant leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.


The CDF Freedom Schools program incorporates the totality of CDF’s mission by fostering environments that support children and young adults (known as “scholars” in the CDF Freedom Schools program) to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves and in their families, schools, communities, country, and world with hope, education and action.


By providing K-12 scholars with rich, culturally relevant pedagogy and high quality books that deepen scholars’ understanding of themselves and all they have in common with others in a multiracial, multicultural democratic society, CDF Freedom Schools programs further empowers scholars to believe in their ability and responsibility to make a difference while instilling in them a love of reading to help them avoid summer learning loss.


The CDF Freedom Schools® Model


Through the CDF Freedom Schools model, we empower youth to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, country and world with hope, education and action.
Rooted in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program is a six-week summer literacy and cultural enrichment program designed to serve children and youth in grades K–12 in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is limited, too expensive, or non-existent. By partnering with schools, faith and community-based organizations, municipalities, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities, we are able to offer this program in these communities at no-cost.


The CDF Freedom Schools program enhances children’s motivation to read and makes them feel good about learning. At the same time, the program connects families to the right resources in their communities. Freedom School students engage in a research-based, multicultural Integrated Reading Curriculum that supports them and their families through five essential components:


1.    High quality academic enrichment
2.    Parent and family development
3.    Civic engagement and social action
4.    Intergenerational servant leadership development
5.    Nutrition, health and mental health


Students also receive two nutritious meals and a snack daily, as well as a book each week to build their home libraries.


The CDF believes in an intergenerational leadership model. That’s why our program is staffed primarily by college students and recent college graduates, with a 10:1 child to adult ratio. As a result, many children and youth make significant gains in reading achievement and don’t experience any summer learning loss."

 

JOIN US! 

Seeking Read Aloud Guests (be sure to snag your spot and get on our schedule early!) and Servant Leader Interns (SLI). Please email erin@bobburdettecenter.org or call 304-342-1158 for more info.

Thank you to the American Baptist Home Missions Societies, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, the City of Charleston, and the United Way of Central West Virginia for the partnership and generous support that enables the BBC to provide this programming.