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."
Literacy and cultural enrichment program; Emphasis on social justice and civic engagement to improve conflict-resolution, SEL, and character building skills; STEM activities with engineers and scientists of color
CDF Freedom Schools offers parent and family development through weekly summer, and quarterly school year parent meetings, frequent family check-ins, engagement opportunities, competitions, and more.