"Without a good education, millions of America's 16.1 million poor children will remain poor throughout their lives and many will become trapped in the Cradle to Prison Pipeline crisis that leads to school dropout, arrest and incarceration, and hopeless lives." "Children have only one childhood, and for them, tomorrow is today." +Marian Wright Edelman
The CDF Freedom Schools program boosts student motivation to read, generates positive attitudes toward learning, and connects the needs of children and families to resources in their communities. At the center of the program is the Integrated Reading Curriculum (IRC) which engages children in books that reflect diverse cultural images and history. IRC encompasses cooperative learning, role-playing, group discussion, and creative writing. Through the program, our students (called "scholars") build their personal libraries, establish dedicated reading times, and become energized for learning through the morning rally ("Harambee") which includes singing, cheers and chants, and guest readers from the wider community.
The impact on the scholars is profound. In 2012, a four-year study of children enrolled at CDF Freedom Schools sites in Charlotte, NC found over 90% of the children showed no summer learning loss, and 63% showed gains in reading and reading comprehension. Beyond the numbers, enthusiasm for reading and for the overarching theme, "I Can Make a Difference" is visible even after a single visit to Harambee. By the end of the summer, our scholars are infused with stories and ideas that provide a long-term foundation for the great things they can be and do.
Anthony's Plot Community, as part of our commitment to our neighborhood and our more than 150 public school student-neighbors, has hosted the CDF Sunnyside Freedom School since 2017. We are excited to provide Sunnyside Freedom School to at least 50 of our K-12 neighbors. Our program runs 8 am-3 pm for six weeks during the summer (beginning the last week of June).
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