For over 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. Our current 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.

CDF Freedom Schools®

CDF Freedom Schools are research based and multicultural summer programs that help 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.

Learn more about the CDF Freedom Schools program

Beat the Odds® Scholarship Program

The Beat the Odds scholarship program recognizes outstanding young people who have overcome adversity to excel in school and as leaders in their communities. Every year, we select ten high school sophomores in Los Angeles to participate in the scholarship program based on their financial need, academic achievement, character, and commitment to community service. Beat the Odds awardees receive up to $10,000 in scholarship money and have access to a suite of academic and career readiness opportunities to support them as they transition from high school to college and beyond.

Learn more about CDF's Beat the Odds program

Youth Development & Leadership

Our Youth Development and Leadership programs represent the intersection between education, organizing, and action. Everyday, we provide opportunities for children and youth to develop the knowledge and skills in community organizing and political advocacy they need inspire positive change in their communities and make long-term improvements for children in California.

Learn more about our Youth Development & Leadership programs

Health Outreach & Enrollment

Through the School-Based Child Health Outreach and Enrollment Project, we partner with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and local school districts in California to make sure that all children have access to free and affordable healthcare. Since 2010, we have partnered with districts to develop school-based models that assist schools with identifying uninsured children and linking them with health coverage.

Learn more about our School-Based Child Health Outreach and Enrollment Project