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Programs and Campaigns
For nearly 40 years, CDF has worked closely with state and local child advocates as well as national and state organizations serving children to level the playing field for children through a variety of campaigns and initiatives. Since 1998, CDF-California has been at the forefront of policy reform in California and remains a strong advocate for children throughout the state.
CDF's current campaigns and programs build upon CDF's long legacy of success by empowering communities and advocates to create the change our children urgently need. CDF-California aligns its work with the national CDF agenda in order to provide viable opportunities for children and dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.
The CDF Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, and generates more positive attitudes toward learning. Children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. Learn more about the CDF Freedom Schools program »
CDF is committed to training and equipping the next generation of young adult leaders who will lead their communities in caring for, protecting, and advocating on behalf of children. Our youth leadership programs include: the Beat the Odds® Scholarship program, the Young Adult Leadership Training (YALT®) program, CDF Freedom Schools program, and the CDF Internship program.
The Cradle to Prison Pipeline is an urgent national crisis that leaves a Black boy born in 2001 with a one in three risk of going to prison and a Latino boy with a one in six risk. The prison pipeline is fueled by pervasive poverty, racial disparities, inadequate health and mental health care, gaps in early childhood development, disparate educational opportunities, chronic abuse and neglect, and overburdened and ineffective juvenile justice systems. Through community summits and educational and advocacy resources, CDF works to develop action plans tailored to dismantle the pipeline in their community. Learn more about effofts to dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline in California »
Since 1998, Children's Defense Fund-California has worked with our colleagues in the 100% Campaign to ensure that all of California's children gain access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage. Our efforts to expand coverage for children, simplify enrollment processes, defend public health coverage programs, and support outreach efforts have paid off in a significant decline in the number of uninsured children in the state. Learn more about 100% Campaign efforts to expand health coverage for California children »
Children's Defense Fund- California, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, works with school districts to identify uninsured children and help children and their families apply for health coverage. During the 2012-2013 school year, CDF-CA is working with three school districts in southern California. Find out more about school-based outreach efforts to enroll children in health coverage »
The Black Community Crusade for Children (BCCC) was quietly launched in 1990 to combat one of the worst crises the Black child and family faced since slavery. Over the past two decades, BCCC’s successes include the CDF Freedom Schools® program; the Harlem Children’s Zone; youth leadership development programs which have trained 20,000 young leaders; economic empowerment work in 77 “Black Belt” southern counties; and the placed-based policy work of PolicyLink.
Now as the crisis has deepened BCCC leaders have launched the second phase of the campaign 20 years later calling on the Black community to stand together for all children. Key Black leaders representing millions of Black stakeholders have taken up the challenge, including nine Black faith denominations, and will recruit others to action to save the Black child and strengthen the Black family. Learn more about the BCCC, download new research and reports on the challenges Black children face, watch videos of BCCC leaders addressing the problems and join the movement to save our children.