The most important lesson of all

August 16, 2016

Some students wrote poetry about freedom and voting rights, while others expressed themselves musically through original raps and music composition. But all students who participated in CDF Freedom Schools this summer learned about the importance of believing in yourself and the power of reading.

“At CDF Freedom Schools, we learn that we are beautiful and smart,” said 9-year-old Madison Franklin, who was a scholar at Read Lead’s Girl Club of Los Angeles/Faith Children’s Center site.

Approximately 1,700 students participated in 27 CDF Freedom Schools across the state this summer. In addition to the intensive reading curriculum, our scholars participated in a variety of activities including photography, dancing, sports, art as well as field trips to local universities and museums.

Some CDF Freedom School sites also held deep conversations about current events and issues that affect their communities. On our National Day of Social Action, three sites in Oakland spent the morning having discussions about police brutality, gun violence and dismantling the cradle to prison pipeline. Scholars then designed picket signs with sayings like “We Want Justice” and “Send me to College not Prison” and marched from their sites to Oakland City Hall.

“See a book, grab a book, read a book – Hey!” they chanted.

CDF-CA is very grateful for all the volunteers that visited our sites this summer, and our read-aloud guests. Some sites were visited by guests like singer/rapper Pharrell Williams, actor Nate Parker, Mayor of Compton Aja Brown, and LA County Superintendent Debra Duardo.

“This is phenomenal,” said Parker. “I love the kids, I love being here.”