CDF Freedom Schools® Impact

CDF Freedom Schools® Impact2023-02-07T09:55:36-05:00

Positive Impact of the CDF Freedom Schools® Program and Related Scholarly Research

Since 1995, more than 200,000 children (K–12) have had the CDF Freedom Schools® experience, and more than 20,000 young adults and child advocates have been trained on the delivery of the CDF Freedom Schools model, which has expanded to 200 program sites nation-wide. Although we remain in the COVID-19 global pandemic, many sponsors returned to safe operation this year offering in-person, virtual, and hybrid programs. In 2022, CDF Freedom Schools partnered with 109 organizations to serve over 10,200 children at 174 program sites.

Children Served Data

2022 Data: Children Served by State

2022 Data: Percent of Children Served by Race/Ethnicity

2022 Data: Children Served by Partner Site Type

The CDF Freedom Schools program has made a statistically-significant and practically-significant positive impact on students in several ways. In 2022, almost all students either improved (51.7 percent) or maintained (32.7 percent) their reading skills over the course of the six-week program and avoided the two-month summer learning loss suffered by children not participating in summer enrichment. Students reading below grade level at the beginning of the summer experienced the greatest gains.

Through the CDF Freedom Schools program in 2022:

of Scholars avoided summer learning loss.
of parents saw increased confidence in their children.
of parents were interested in engaging in social action with their children.

Social Emotional Learning Growth in the CDF Freedom Schools Program

Children responded that CDF Freedom Schools helped them to

  • Accurately assess their strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset”.
  • Successfully regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations
  • Take the perspective of and empathize with others.
  • Communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
  • Make constructive choices about personal behaviors and social interactions.

CDF Freedom Schools® Scholar Ratings

Research & Data about the CDF Freedom Schools Program

Research in the Field

The CDF Freedom Schools model has inspired countless researchers in the fields of education, advocacy, policy, and more to write dissertations and conduct research on the impact of various program elements. In an effort to bring this research to the forefront of the field, we’ve compiled a “Research in the Field” database so that interested parties can access recent and compelling papers on the CDF Freedom Schools movement as a whole. If you have research you’d like for us to add to our database, please send us an email with your CV and a copy of your research for consideration.

CDF Freedom Schools Program Description

For more data on the 2022 CDF Freedom Schools Program, including:

  • Scholars Served by Race & Ethnicity
  • Scholars eligible for Free and Reduced Meals
  • Scholars with and without health insurance
  • List of Partner Organizations

And more, please use this resource.