CDF Freedom Schools

HOPE Village Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools 

Beginning in summer 2016, Focus: HOPE partnered with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) to launch the HOPE Village CDF Freedom Schools and promote the development of strong, literate, and empowered young people in Detroit’s HOPE Village. The full-day summer program lasts six weeks and features a multicultural reading curriculum with the theme, “I can make a difference.” All programming is completely free to families.

Programming Includes:

  • Multicultural reading curriculum
  • Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math
  • Weekly field trips
  • Weekly family engagement sessions
  • Civic engagement and social action
  • Intergenerational leadership development
  • Healthy breakfast, lunch, and snacks 

Program Outcomes:

CDF Freedom Schools combat summer learning loss, a phenomenon that disproportionately affects low-income children. Instead of declining over the summer, HOPE Village CDF Freedom Schools students’ reading levels increased by an average of nine months over the course of the six-week program.

Additional outcomes include:

  • Love of reading
  • Positive attitudes about school
  • Self-esteem
  • Positive racial identity
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Parent engagement

Plans for the Future:

In 2016, the first HOPE Village CDF Freedom School served 50 children in grades K-2. Due to the students’ success and the overwhelmingly positive response from community members, we aim to expand the summer program in 2017 to serve children in grades K-5 and then begin offering after-school programming in the fall. In order to create a pipeline of supports and attain the HVI’s 2031 goal, we aim to serve an even larger number of HOPE Village children and families in 2018.

Help us reach our goal by donating today:


CDF Freedom Schools

CDF Freedom Schools

CDF Freedom Schools