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.