Are you ready for the 20th anniversary of CDF Freedom Schools®?

The CDF Freedom Schools program is a research based and multicultural summer enrichment opportunity that helps children and youth fall in love with reading, boost self-esteem, and generate more positive attitudes toward learning. We partner with families, caring community leaders, and credible organizations throughout California to create a safe nurturing learning environment that encourages children and teens to believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves and in their families, schools, communities, country, and world with hope, education and action. This summer, 32 CDF Freedom Schools sites in California will serve over 2,000 children and youth.


Ending Child Poverty Now

This groundbreaking report details how the nation can significantly reduce child poverty immediately. If the federal government invested an additional 2% of the budget to expand existing federal programs and policies that would increase employment opportunities while providing a fair and livable wage for parents, as well as ensuring that children’s basic needs are met; 60% of poor children across the country would be lifted out of poverty and 97% of all poor children would benefit.

A companion report by the Children’s Defense Fund-California presents specific state policy recommendations for how California can reduce child poverty, including raising the state minimum wage to $15 per hour, enacting a state Earned Income Tax Credit, and expanding child care for low-income children.

A child in the United States has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor and the younger she is the poorer she is likely to be. A California child has a 1 in 4 chance of being poor. This is unacceptable and unnecessary. Growing up poor has lifelong negative consequences, decreasing the likelihood of graduating from high school and increasing the likelihood of becoming a poor adult, suffering from poor health, and becoming involved in the criminal justice system. These impacts cost the nation at least half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity and increased health and crime costs. Letting our children grow up poor prevents them from having equal opportunities to succeed in life and robs the nation of their future contributions.

The U.S. and California can end child poverty by investing more in programs and policies that work.

Download and share the report now.

Featured Updates

CDF President, Marian Wright Edelman, discusses solutions that would significantly reduce child poverty — highlighted in CDF’s groundbreaking report, Ending Child Poverty Now — on PBS’s Tavis Smiley show.

Senate Bill 124 to end solitary confinement for youth passed the Senate Public Safety Committee! Take action to #EndYouthSolitary.

Upcoming Events

2015 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry
July 20-24, 2015
Clinton, TN

CDF-CA Beat the Odds
December 3, 2015
Los Angeles, CA

all upcoming events