ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® program seeks to build strong, literate, and empowered children prepared to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, nation and world today. By providing summer reading enrichment for children who might otherwise not have access to books, the CDF Freedom Schools program plays a much needed role in helping to curb summer learning loss and close achievement gaps — and is a key part of CDF’s work to ensure a level playing field for all children.
In partnership with the Impact Community Development Corperation the CDF Freedom Schools program aims to boost student motivation to read, generate more positive attitudes toward learning, increase self-esteem and connect the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities.
- Students enrolled in the CDF Freedom Schools program improved their readings skills more than students not enrolled in the CDF Freedom Schools program. Both boys and girls improved, but boys showed more improvement. Middle school students showed the largest gain in reading skills.
- Parents of CDF Freedom Schools students reported their children had a greater love of learning, better conflict resolution skills and more involvement in the community after participating in the program.
- Servant leader interns provided children with positive role models. Half of the servant leader interns had previously held a position of leadership in a community organization. Over eighty percent had been involved in extra-curricular activities at school, church or other community organizations.
TAKE ACTION & GET INVOLVED
CDF’s mission 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 is a direct service initiative coordinated nationally by the Children’s Defense Fund in partnership with local community organizations. It is an educational and cultural enrichment program that provides summer options for children and strengthens family and community involvement. The program serves children in grades kindergarten through twelfth for six to eight weeks. The activity based Integrated Reading Curriculum, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, integrates reading, conflict resolution, and social action, and is designed to promote social, cultural, and historical awareness.
A multi-year assessment of CDF Freedom Schools program sites continuously demonstrates the effectiveness of the Integrated Reading Curriculum, which has proven to avert children’s summer learning loss in reading achievement. The Site Coordinator manages the day to day operations and serves as the supervisor for one CDF Freedom Schools program site. It is recommended that the Site Coordinator has served as a CDF Freedom Schools Servant Leader Intern and should be capable of leading an intergenerational staff. The Site Coordinator should be committed to the goals of the program, able to work collaboratively with all program constituents and be familiar with the culture and dynamics of the community. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE FULL POSITION DESCRIPTION & APPLICATION.
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 students. Servant Leader Interns have access to further leadership development and networking opportunities geared toward continued direct service and advocacy on behalf of children and families. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE FULL POSITION DESCRIPTION & APPLICATION.