CDF Freedom Schools


The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® program partners with organizations to sponsor high-quality comprehensive programming for children and families in local communities across the country.  Sponsor organizations are responsible for securing the financial resources to operate program sites at no cost to families and paying fees to CDF to offset program costs.




  • Successful operation of a CDF Freedom Schools summer program in previous year(s)
  • Be in good financial and information intake standing with CDF Freedom Schools National Team
  • Identify a Site Coordinator and enough Servant Leader Interns, ideally all with previous CDF Freedom Schools experience, to work in the after-school program to maintain the 10:1 child to Servant Leader Intern ratio.  Confirm that all Site Coordinators and Servant Leader Interns are available to work on a regular after-school schedule each week (days generally last from 3:00 – 6:00pm).
  • Confirm that all of your Servant Leader Interns must participate in the CDF Freedom Schools Training. For information and questions about content please contact Tara McCoy by email at For information and questions about accessing training please contact Erica Fields by email at
  • Identify a partnership with a school and/or school district and submit letter of support from school administrator.
  • Make full payment for any additional scholars to be served and accompanying books needed as soon as possible. For increases to number of scholars to be served please contact Janet Canada for invoicing by email at
  • Provide proof of your organization’s current state license to serve children, if applicable.
  • Confirm ability to host virtual programming (including technology access plan for families, plans for implementation of program model, etc.)
  • Provide proof that the site where your organization will house its in-person program has met applicable state and/or local health and safety standards and regulations (i.e. health department certificate, occupancy certificate, etc.), if not on file.

Onboarding materials for all accepted sponsor organizations are due within one week of receiving your official acceptance letter. Onboarding materials include a signed Licensing Agreement, a completed After School Information Form, and a copy of your organization’s current general liability insurance.


Section I: Applicant Information

Contact 1 - CDF Freedom Schools Executive Director

This person will fulfill the responsibilities as outlined in the official position description and is required to attend orientation and training meetings as indicated on the training schedule.

Section II: Financial Resources and Capacity

To operate an after-school program in 2021-2022, the fees due to CDF are $285.00/scholar (child) served, or $14,250 for 50 scholars. This covers curriculum books and materials, program evaluation, and training materials for all staff.


We estimate that an organization serving 50 scholars at one site should budget approximately $64,000, for staff salaries, travel for mandatory trainings, and program supplies.

Additional Funding Considerations for your CDF Freedom School Program

Please describe how you will fund any additional costs related your CDF Freedom Schools After-School program.  Is this funding pending or committed? Please provide the names and funding levels of those funders who have committed resources to your After-School program.

Example: Malok Community Organization
Laptops and Tablets Needed
Committed (July 7, 2020)
If you have more than one additional funder, click "Add another response" below.

Section III: Program Information

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File Uploads

Section IV: Signature

CDF Freedom Schools