CDF Freedom Schools® Austin

CDF Freedom School® Austin gives children fundamental resources needed to develop their potential:

    • Literacy, STEM, and arts enrichment
    • Character strengths needed to make good decisions
    • Culturally responsive teaching and learning
    • A community that believes in them

Freedom Schools’ impact extends to transform college student interns (better known as Servant Leader Interns, or SLIs) into advocates for children and inspire them to be future leaders, and to deepen the community’s investment in children.

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs are six-week summer literacy programs led by college student interns to scholars ages 6-11 from working poor families.

Our CDF Freedom Schools® Austin program extends the powerful summer learning experience, with year-round family engagement, family centered events, books, educational and cultural materials, community partnerships, and family support.

Welcome Table Inc. has been fiscal sponsor of Freedom Schools in Austin, the only program in Central Texas, since 2014. Since 2014, our scholars have averaged a 10 month increase in reading level over the course of the six-week program.

CDF Freedom Schools is much more than an out-of-school-time literacy program; it teaches children the importance of using their voice in their community to become responsible, informed citizens.

CDF Freedom Schools Austin serves children who most need and yet can least afford summer learning opportunities. Championing the cause to defeat summer learning loss and giving every child an opportunity to succeed is the foundation of Freedom Schools. In addition to the program elements described below, scholars receive two meals and a snack daily.

In Summer 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time in our program’s history, we are offered virtual learning, supplies, and meals to a group of 40 elementary school age scholars and met virtually with parents to support them and engaging professionals in the community to present or read to the students.  In 2021, to meet the needs of our scholars and their families, we moved our programming back to in-person learning, offering a hybrid experience for 40 scholars.

In 2022, CDF Freedom Schools Austin will serve 60 scholars, in-person, and is expanding programming to two campuses, one located at Norman-Sims Elementary School (AISD), and one at Pecan Springs Elementary School (AISD).

All CDF Freedom Schools® Austin programming and materials are provided at no cost to our scholars and their families.

Information for Parents

Your scholar could be one of the over 100,000 scholars who have had a CDF Freedom Schools® experience since 1995!

In partnership with Welcome Table Inc., the CDF Freedom Schools® program works hard to ensure each scholar is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in life. Our program boosts scholars’ motivation to read, and generates a more positive attitude towards learning science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. It also connects the needs of scholars and families to the resources of their communities.

Servant Leader Interns

Servant Leader Interns are college students with the passion and commitment to be a role model in the life of a child. Interns serve as teachers during classroom activities and mentors through their scholars’ time in Freedom School. Interns are paid a stipend and receive 90 hours of training on curriculum delivery, youth development, and classroom management prior to working in Freedom Schools.