The Equity & Justice Institute

CDF Freedom Schools Program

Since the summer of 2021, the Equity & Justice Institute has partnered with Children’s Defense Fund to offer the Freedom Schools® program at Crossroads School.
The CDF Freedom Schools program integrates reading, conflict resolution and social action in an activity-based curriculum that promotes social, cultural and historical awareness. It builds scholars’ self-esteem, stimulates their love of reading and introduces them to enriching activities not provided by traditional school systems.

Over six weeks, program participants, known as scholars, read more than 50 developmentally appropriate books. These books reflect the scholars’ own images, convey their authentic history, culture, and heritage, and introduce them to adults and youths who make a difference in the lives of others. This offers the young learners encouragement to become involved in community engagement (service), helps them explore fundamental issues related to self-esteem and expands their capacity to self-actualize their goals and aspirations.


Program Highlights
  • Served an average of 35 scholars from the Virginia Park community
  • Provided over 200 culturally relevant age appropriate books to children and families—each student received a set of books to start or build their home library
  • Provided an open space for scholars to learn and practice how they can make a difference through hope, education and action
  • Scholars participated in STEAM-based learning, Artivism, meditation and golf
  • Promoted a college bound culture with college campus tours

Read More Program Highlights & Info


Enroll in the Program
We have limited availability in our CDF Freedom Schools program. Please complete the enrollment form linked below. A member from our team will be in touch with families in the Spring regarding status.

For more program and enrollment information, please access our FAQs linked below. If you have any further questions, contact Carlos Ortiz at

Crossroads School CDF Freedom Schools Site

Administrative Team

List of 2 items.

  • Cassandra Chase

    Director of the Equity & Justice Institute
  • Carlos Ortiz

    Site Coordinator

CDF Freedom Schools

Voices of Scholars