Freedom School is a culturally enriching summer literacy program aimed at preventing summer learning loss for K-8 students in WCCUSD, with preference given to African-American students, Richmond residents and those on free and reduced lunch. The program strengthens academic, civic and socioemotional skills in a creative, fun way with an emphasis on African-American history and culture. Children engage in learning, social justice, and inter-generational servant leadership taught by caring young adults who reflect the diversity of our community. Freedom School is a project of the Richmond Children’s Defense Fund.



The CDF Freedom Schools® program has its origins in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964, which brought college students from around the country to Mississippi to secure justice and voting rights for Black citizens. These early Freedom Schools aimed at keeping Black children and youth safe and giving them rich educational experiences including instruction in reading, writing, humanities, mathematics, and science along with subjects that were not offered in public schools. All instruction was tailored to encourage students to become independent thinkers, problem solvers, and agents of change in their own communities. Since 1995, the CDF Freedom Schools program has served more than 150,000 children (K–12) and more than 17,000 young adults and child advocates have been trained on the delivery of the CDF Freedom Schools model, which has expanded to 182 program sites nationwide — including Richmond!


The Program

The school offers a research-based, multicultural Integrated Reading Curriculum that supports students and families through five essential components:

  • High-quality academic enrichment
  • Parent and family development
  • Civic engagement and social action
  • Intergenerational servant leadership development
  • Nutrition, health, and mental health


How to Support the Richmond CDF Freedom School

You can donate to the school through our donate page, just select “Freedom School” under the “Fiscal Projects Menu.”

Please see the 2021 brochure for more information about the school!