CDF Freedom Schools® at Home2021-02-23T14:59:00-05:00
CDF Freedom Schools at Home

About the CDF Freedom Schools® at Home Program

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools®  team is proud to introduce our CDF Freedom Schools at Home book bundles! 

Inspired by the original Freedom Summer of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program was founded in 1995 and designed to improve reading, language skills, and interpersonal relationships, strengthen families, and develop in all participants the skills needed to improve conditions for children and families in their communities. 

CDF knows that culturally relevant books empower children and youth to believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference. We also understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on the mental and physical health and well-being of children and youth everywhere. With that in mind, the CDF Freedom Schools team is excited to bring you our culturally relevant book bundles to uplift the spirits of children, youth, and families everywhere.

The CDF Freedom Schools team is proud to say that in our 25th year of service, and during this ongoing global pandemic, we are more committed than ever to meeting the needs of the children, families, and communities nationwide. And we couldn’t do it without you; together, we can make a difference.

Resources for Families that Receive Freedom Schools at Home Book Bundles

We are eager to welcome you to the CDF Freedom Schools at Home network!

The following resources are available to you as a member of the CDF Freedom Schools at Home network. They will serve as a guide for parents, caregivers, community leaders, educators, and all others interested in guiding the children and youth who are lucky enough to bring these books home. The materials below should be used to spark meaningful discussions that encourage the development of critical thinking, conflict-resolution, and social emotional learning skills. Ultimately we hope that these resources and the book bundles serve as a way for your children and youth to develop a love of reading.

Click the links below to explore the resources we’ve made available to CDF Freedom Schools at Home members:

Freedom Schools Afterschool @ Home

Connect with the national CDF Freedom Schools at Home network by submitting pictures or a video to us using #CDFFreedomSchools #Lovetoread #ChaptersBeyondBooks so others across the nation see how you are using these Book Bundles and activities to engage children and youth!

Instagram-@childdefender1973 FB-@childrensdefensefund Twitter-@childdefender

CDF Freedom Schools at Home: Family Book Club

In order to connect our national Freedom Schools at Home network, we will be hosting live monthly family book club nights on the Children’s Defense Fund’s Facebook page from January to April 2021. Each month we will have an Ella Baker Trainer, book author, or other special guest join our live stream to conduct a book reading. A lively discussion will follow to help mirror the engaging and lively learning opportunities that we create at CDF Freedom Schools. These discussions are meant to help facilitate conversations on how the books apply to current events, community building, and how children and youth can make a difference.

Join us for Family Book Club on the following Wednesdays:

February 17
March 17
April 21
May 19

Each Family Book Club event will premiere live on Facebook at 7 PM ET:

If you can’t join us live, be sure to check out the archive of the event, available immediately afterwards at the same link.

Boys reading
Children Reading
Boys reading

Why It Matters: The Impact of Remote Learning and Civic Unrest on the Next Generation

Our children and youth are incredibly resilient, but there’s no doubt they’re being exposed to increased stress and trauma right now: due to isolation during the pandemic, police brutality, civil unrest, the 24 hour news cycle, and many other factors. Research has shown that childhood trauma survivors may experience:

  • Learning problems, including lower grades and more suspensions and expulsions
  • Increased use of health and mental health services
  • Increase involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems
  • Long-term health problems (e.g., diabetes and heart disease)

On top of this:

About the Chapters Beyond Books Partnership

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) has partnered with chapter members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), collectively referred to as the Divine Nine (D9), and chapter members of other prominent membership organizations to introduce our CDF Freedom Schools at Home Book program.

Through the Chapters Beyond Books partnership, chapter members make a generous donation  to the Children’s Defense Fund to help their chapter receive a shipment of culturally-relevant books to distribute into the hands and homes of children in grades K-12. Our goal is to distribute nearly 50,000 books across the country to families helping them build their in-home libraries while also developing and nurturing their child’s love for reading.

Donations received for each book bundle will go towards the CDF Freedom Schools’ mission to empower children, youth, families, and communities to believe in their ability to make a difference.

CDF would like to thank the following organizations for their support:

CHUMS Incorporated
Delta Sigma Theta
Jack and Jill of America Incorporated
Zeta Phi Beta

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, each organization that receives a book shipment for community distribution will be responsible for distributing their own set of books. The books will be shipped to the location indicated by each organization.

Book bundles curated for the Chapters Beyond Books partnership are broken up by grade levels for K-12 students.

CDF Freedom Schools at Home is an emergency response program created to support children, youth, families, and communities during the ongoing global pandemic. Traditionally, access to the book titles and curriculum is reserved for organizations that sponsor a CDF Freedom Schools site.