Reading is the key to unlocking a child’s unlimited potential

Through the CDF Freedom Schools model, we empower our youth to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, and the world with hope, education, and action.

Rooted in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program is a six-week summer literacy and cultural enrichment program that enhances children’s motivation to read and makes them feel good about learning. At the same time, the program connects families to resources in their communities.

Curriculum Foundation

Freedom School scholars engage in a research-based, multicultural Integrated Reading Curriculum that supports them and their families through five essential components:

  1. High-quality academic enrichment
  2. Parent and family development
  3. Civic engagement and social action
  4. Intergenerational servant leadership development
  5. Nutrition, health and mental health

2024 Freedom School Details

Freedom School is open to rising 3rd – 8th grade students that attend a public school in the New Hanover County School District.  Our Freedom School will take place June 17, 2024 to July 26, 2024 at the International School at Gregory! Programming is free and runs on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and bus transportation, in partnership with New Hanover County Schools.

We believe in an intergenerational leadership model. That’s why our program is staffed primarily by college students and recent college graduates, with at most a 10:1 child to adult ratio. As a result, many children and youth make significant gains in reading achievement and don’t experience any summer learning loss.

Spots are full for Freedom School 20204, however, applications for Scholars to be added to our waitlist for Freedom School 2024 may be accessed here.

***In the Freedom School Information section of the Application, please select “NC – Communities In Schools of Cape Fear – CSIS- Freedom School at Gregory Elementary” to ensure we receive your application.***   Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Staff will reach out directly with your application status and share the dates for this year’s required Family Orientation. Please be mindful there is an attendance policy in place, so if you are unable to commit to attending 90% of sessions, please leave room for others to take this opportunity.


Questions? Email us at!

Be a part of bringing Freedom School to life!

Your gift of any size can make a difference! $50 could help us provide healthy snacks, $250 could help fund our scholars’ books, and a gift of $75,000 could sponsor next year’s program!

Please email Louise Hicks to discuss all available options, or make a secure donation here.

Needs include:

Tier 4
Volunteers for morning Read Aloud sessions
Individually wrapped snacks, juice, and water
Monetary gifts for snacks, books and art supplies

Interested in More Information?

Our 2024 Partners

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Donations are greatly appreciated and go directly to support the services we provide for local youth.

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Share your hobby, talents or interests with our students! Our programs need the support of caring adults to help keep students on the path to academic achievement.

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