Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools®

Sponsored by Deaconess Foundation 

Purpose

Deaconess’ strategic plan calls for engaging local UCC congregations to support the Foundation’s child advocacy ministry. CDF Freedom Schools provide meaningful engagement opportunities for congregations by placing them in proximity to the needs of children in order to inform faith-based advocacy.  In addition, Deaconess will be partnering with the largest child advocacy organization in the United States, the Children’s Defense Fund.

History  

CDF Freedom Schools are intergenerational, culturally competent summer programs, built on literacy, leadership and social advocacy.  The curriculum is rooted in the Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Summer, and was originally conceived and proposed by Charles Cobb, a UCC college student.  

Future

Deaconess embraces the Freedom School intent of being a “movement building mechanism” and intends to advance it as such for area UCC congregations.  

Structure

The 7-Week program provides literacy building activities, empowerment, meals, snacks and activities, including field trips, at no charge to families.  The CDF model also includes extensive testing and evaluation to measure academic progress.

Enrollment

The sites will serve a total of 100 scholars recruited from Saint Louis Public Schools, Webster Groves School District and the UCC congregations. Enrollment is free and open to all families.   Saint Louis Public Schools System is providing summer school credit to students who participate.

Employment Opportunities

The Summer 2018 employment opportunities are:

Project Director - The Project Director works in conjunction with the Executive Director to manage operations for the CDF Freedom Schools program. The Project Director should have strong leadership skills with empathy for children and their families. The Project Director should be committed to the goals of the program, able to work collaboratively with all program constituents and be familiar with the culture and dynamics of the community.

Deaconess will hire an individual, as Project Director, who is committed to active lives of leadership and service for children. Individuals with a valid Missouri teaching certificate are strongly encouraged to apply. For consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume and three references to constancer@deaconess.org by January 3, 2018.  

Site Coordinator - The Site Coordinator manages the day to day operations and serves as the supervisor for one CDF Freedom Schools program site. The Site Coordinator should be capable of leading an intergenerational staff. The Site Coordinator should be committed to the goals of the program, able to work collaboratively with all program constituents and be familiar with the culture and dynamics of the community. 

Deaconess will hire individuals, as Site Coordinators, who are committed to active lives of leadership and service for children. Individuals with a valid Missouri teaching certificate are strongly encouraged to apply. For consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume and three references to constancer@deaconess.org by January 3, 2018.  

Servant Leader Intern - College-age young people and recent college graduates play a key role in the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program as servant leader interns. CDF Freedom Schools servant leader interns are responsible for the front-line care and nurturing of the children. Using the Integrated Reading Curriculum, they serve as facilitators in the classroom and as leaders of parent workshops and community outreach activities.

Deaconess will hire young adults, as Servant Leader Interns, who are committed to active lives of leadership and service for children.  For consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume, official college transcript and two letters of recommendations to constancer@deaconess.org by January 5, 2018.  

Volunteer Opportunities

There are opportunities for volunteers to read to students during the program. 

 

2018 CDF Freedom School® Sites: 

Dates:

June 11th              First Day of School

July 18th               Day of Social Action (Focused on Access to Healthcare)

July 27th               Last Day of School (All Sites)

Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being

1000 North Vandeventer Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

 

Peace United Church of Christ

204 East Lockwood Ave.
Webster Groves, MO 63119

 

Saint John's Church (The Beloved Community)

4136 North Grand Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO 63107

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What grade levels are eligible? 

The sites  are open to students who have completed kindergarten through 5th grade.

Are there any fees?

The program, meals and field trips are provided at no charge. 

What is a typical day like at CDF Freedom School?

Students will begin the day with breakfast and a motivational session complete with a guest reader.  Engaging activities continue throughout the morning until lunch.  The afternoon is filled with hands-on activities.  At CDF Freedom Schools programs, children are engaged in activities that nurture their minds, bodies, and spirits. 

How is the literacy component unique? 

Children, parents, and staff are introduced to a superb collection of books that reflect their own images and reinforce the CDF Freedom Schools theme I Can Make a Difference.  This collection of books reflect a wide variety of cultures and experience and is part of an Integrated Reading Curriculum (IRC) in which books, activities, field trips, and games all relate to and reinforce each other. 

Who provides the direct instruction?

Servant leader interns, college students and recent graduates trained by CDF, 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. 

Interested in learning more?  Please email Deaconess at cdffreedomschools@deaconess.org.