Proven High Quality


The 2013 Kalamazoo CDF Freedom Schools® summer program was assessed by KYD Network using the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) and yielded a score of 4.77 out of 5 which deems the program as “extremely high in quality”. The YPQA is a research-validated assessment of best practices in youth programming which is focused on the elements of program practice (e.g. safety, supportive environment, interaction, and engagement). Comparing CDF Freedom Schools® to the national data which is comprised of a sample of 1,236 youth development programs all over the country-the CDF Freedom Schools® total score far exceeds the national average by 1.27 (national average is 3.47).

Additionally, the Harvard Family Research Project named the CDF Freedom Schools® program as one of the top youth programs in the country in 2011.


Literacy Impact
The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test was utilized to measure literacy growth this summer for the K-12 students served. The Gates-MacGinitie is a standardized, norm-referenced, group administered reading assessment. Vocabulary and comprehension were measured in 3-12 graders, while word decoding, word knowledge, and comprehension were measured in K-2 graders. For more than 50% of the students served, not only did scholars retain their knowledge from the prior school year, but they also gained literacy skills equivalent to two months of school instruction.


Social & Emotional Impact

Social and emotional development was also measured in 2012 using the CDF Freedom Schools® Attitude and Behavior Form. This instrument assesses students’ attitude regarding their intrinsic value of reading, their feelings about education and school, and their health behaviors. More than 70% of students served showed significant growth across all social and emotional categories.

From the Mouths of Our Parents & Scholars

Focus groups were conducted with parents and students in 2012 as well. Parents stated that their children had more confidence; read more; and discussed their cultural identity as a result. Students shared that they learned new things; could more effectively solve problems, and could more openly express themselves as a result of attending the program.

Youth Leadership 
Below are highlights of demonstrated leadership by high school youth served in past years by CDF Freedom Schools:

 Clarke Atkinson Level 1 Scholar 

Received the Freedom Fighter award this summer at Finale for his strong leadership in the classroom and amazing attitude. This young man understands forgiveness and humility and demonstrated this throughout the summer with his peers. This is Clarke’s second year in the Freedom School program.

 Destinee Hawkins Level 3 Scholar

 Received the Freedom Fighter award this summer at Finale.This young lady exemplifies the positive effects of self esteem, education and achievement. 

Destinee honored every aspect of EFIS programming and emerged into a even stronger leader creatively and among her peers this summer. This was her second year with EFIS.


Community Engagement

Educating for Freedom in Schools believes heavily in the power of community! Some highlights from the impact of recent partners include:

Yolanda Lavender, Vocal Artist, Truth Tone Records

Yolanda partnered with EFIS this summer to provide the Van Buren ISD program to the Level 2 scholars. In addition to guiding scholars through a songwriting process which led scholars to perform their original composition at our 5th Annual Finale Becoming Your Inspiration.

Western Michigan University Capoeira RSO 

President Turk provided the enriching experience of Capoeira unique martial art stems from Africa and Brazil-to scholars. This introductory lesson exposed scholars to the Portuguese language and the cultural history behind the fighting style.

Money Smart Kids, Stanley Steppes

Financial advisor and author, Stanley Steppes offered an exciting opportunity

for scholars to exercise their fundraising skills through the Money Smart Kids Financial Literacy Program. Scholars were encouraged to sell as many Money Smart Kid products as possible with awesome incentives like a flat screen TV, monetary gift cards and Money Smart Kid products. A percentage of the funds the scholars raised was given to Educating for Freedom in Schools.

Do you want to be part of yeilding these kind of results for our children every summer and throughout the school year? Then what are you waiting for? Click the button above to partner with us on our efforts!

Educating for Freedom in Schools

Copyright 2012

Write To Us: 

PO Box 19846, Kalamazoo MI 49009