Any third through eighth-grade student in Winston Salem is eligible to attend Freedom School. Wake Forest Aramark & Budd Group Service workers and returning Freedom School scholars and siblings are prioritized.
The Wake Forest University Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School is a free six-week, literacy-based summer program for rising third through eighth-grade students. Through a culturally diverse curriculum, Freedom School encourages a love of reading and learning. With a theme of “I Can Make A Difference,” the Integrated Reading Curriculum affirms scholars with engaging literature and exposure to the broader community.
In classrooms of 10-12, college-aged students are hired to teach and mentor Freedom School scholars. Additionally, during the six-week instruction, parents of scholars are encouraged to be engaged in their child’s learning through informational meetings in the summer and multiple volunteer opportunities.
Spots for the annual summer program fill quickly. If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Freedom School at Wake Forest for subsequent years, please add your name to the waitlist.
Wake Forest University Freedom School is hosted by the Department of Education and is made possible with the help of collaborators including The Office of Civic & Community Engagement, Office of the President, and Office of the Provost.
2022 Program Dates
Dates for the 2022 WFU Freedom School will be updated once available.
College students can apply to be Service Leaders Interns for Freedom School through the end of April.
Make a Donation
Each year, Project Pumpkin helps raise money for the Freedom School at Wake Forest
“Scholars benefit the best from understanding that they can make a difference in themselves, their community, and the world through reading.” Dr. Dani Parker Moore
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Freedom School?
The CDF Freedom Schools model, empowers youth to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, country, and the world with hope, education, and action.
Rooted in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program has historically and continues to be apart of the Black Community Crusade for Children®. The CDF Freedom Schools program is a six-week summer literacy and cultural enrichment program designed to serve children and youth in grades K–12 in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is limited, too expensive, or non-existent. By partnering with schools, faith and community-based organizations, municipalities, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities, CDF Freedom Schools are able to offer the program in those communities at no-cost.
CDF Freedom School believes in an intergenerational leadership model. That’s why the program is staffed primarily by college students and recent college graduates, with a 10:1 child to adult ratio. As a result, many children and youth make significant gains in reading achievement and don’t experience any summer learning loss.
The CDF Freedom Schools program enhances children’s motivation to read and makes them feel good about learning. At the same time, the program connects families to the right resources in their communities. Freedom School students engage in a research-based, multicultural Integrated Reading Curriculum that supports them and their families through five essential components:
- High quality academic enrichment
- Parent and family development
- Civic engagement and social action
- Intergenerational servant leadership development
- Nutrition, health and mental health
Students also receive two nutritious meals and a snack daily, as well as a book each week to build their home libraries.
Who We Are
Dr. Dani Parker Moore
Executive Director, Wake Forest Freedom School
Dr. Dani Parker Moore, currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Wake Forest, worked as a middle school and high school teacher before pursuing her Ph.D. at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While working on her Ph.D., Dr. Parker Moore worked with the TRiO programs Upward Bound and Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. Her previous work in schools and with TRiO programs has shaped the ways in which she approaches her research, which focuses on parent engagement and family-school-community collaborations, with a specific interest in Freedom School programs.
Project Director/Site Coordinator
Camry Wilborn is the Assistant Director of Community Partnerships in the Office of Civic & Community Engagement where she works to identify, develop and maintain strategic partnerships with community organizations specifically as it relates to education. She also oversees all student tutoring and mentoring programs at the University and is the Project Director for Wake Forest University Freedom School. Through her work she supports placed-based initiatives and connects community-identified projects to faculty, staff, and students. She received her BA from Wake Forest University and her MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago.