Freedom School

Freedom1Peacemakers Family Center has been selected by the Children’s Defense Fund to serve as a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School®.

The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program provides an eight-week (full-time) summer enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. 

1. High Quality Academic Enrichment Freedom2
At CDF Freedom Schools programs, children are engaged in activities that nurture their minds, bodies, and spirits. In the classrooms, they read books that celebrate a wide variety of cultures and experiences, Children, parents, and staff are introduced to a superb collection of books that reflect their own images and focus on the theme I Can Make a Difference. This collection of books is part of an integrated reading curriculum (IRC) in which books, activities, field trips, and games all relate to and reinforce each other. Servant leader interns use the IRC to teach children conflict resolution and critical thinking skills, engage children in community service and social action projects, encourage children to participate in art and athletic activities, and help children to develop a program finale in which every child is given the chance to shine. 

2. Parent and Family Involvement 
Parents and family members are the most important partners in their children’s education. The CDF Freedom Schools program offers parents and family members the support and skills they need to help their children succeed. Caregivers are required to demonstrate their commitment to the program and to their children’s education and development by becoming actively involved in the daily CDF Freedom Schools program activities. 

3. Social Action and Civic Engagement 
Children learn to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they become more responsible members of their communities. Servant leader interns encourage the children not only to explore the problems facing their communities, but also to become active in working toward solutions. 

Freedom34. Intergenerational Servant Leadership Development 
CDF Freedom Schools programs are staffed primarily by college-age young adults who are committed to making life better for children. Training coordinated by the CDF Freedom Schools national office prepares these young adults to provide an enriching experience for the children they serve, and to be part of a future generation of servant leaders. 

5. Nutrition, Health and Mental Health 
All local CDF Freedom Schools programs are required to provide two nutritious meals and a snack each day the program is in operation. These meals must meet USDA nutrition standards.

Applications for college-age Servant Leader Interns will be accepted starting in January 2014, and applications for participation in the program will be available at Peacemakers Family Center starting March 15, 2014.  There is a $35 registration fee.