Teaching children and youth participating in the CDF Freedom Schools® program, with a focus on academic enrichment, leadership development, health, and civic engagement.
, Director, Program in Education and Associate Professor of the Practice, Duke University
Jeanne Middleton-Hairston; National Director CDF Freedom Schools®
Thomas Maridada, Director of Education Policy and Practice, CDF
, Director, CDF Marlboro County, South Carolina, and Senior Manager for Curriculum Development, CDF Freedom Schools
Shaquite Pegues, Senior Program Associate CDF Marlboro County, South Carolina and Ella Baker Trainer Coordinator, CDF Freedom Schools
The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® (CDF) mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations.
The CDF Freedom Schools program provides high quality summer learning for students in grades K through 12 through a research based and multicultural 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. In partnership with community based organizations, faith institutions, schools, colleges and universities, the CDF Freedom Schools program recruits college students and recent graduates, called Servant Leader Interns, to serve as classroom teachers for the 6-8 week program.
Research indicates that the CDF Freedom Schools program boosts student motivation to read, generates positive attitudes toward learning, and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities. The CDF Freedom Schools model incorporates the totality of CDF’s mission by fostering environments that support children and young adults to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves and in their families, schools, communities, country, and world.
Servant Leader Interns are college students and recent college graduates who play a key role in the CDF Freedom Schools program. Servant Leader Interns are responsible for a maximum of ten students and serve as teachers during classroom activities. Servant Leader Interns are selected for their maturity and responsibility, energy and enthusiasm, their ability to engage children and their willingness to work hard with a spirit of servant leadership. Servant Leader Interns must also demonstrate commitment to diversity and the empowerment of children and youth through education.
Program Requirements & Environmentals
Language/Other Prerequisites: The work of the CDF Freedom Schools program is rooted in the American Civil Rights movement. In keeping with the values of the CDF, program participants will be required to be registered to vote. Students will also be subject to a background check. While DukeEngage requires that participating students be in good academic standing, the Marlboro County Partners CDF Freedom Schools program requires Servant Leader Interns to have a minimum 3.0 GPA through the end of spring semester 2013.
Selected participants will be required to participate in a day of training with the group on-site in Bennettsville. This is tentatively scheduled for April 27, 2013. Transportation will be provided by the program.
Reflection Sessions: The site coordinator will lead daily debrief sessions with all staff. Students will have the opportunity to reflect, celebrate successes, and identify options for overcoming challenges.
Neighborhood: Students will be housed in a bed and breakfast located on Main Street in downtown Bennettsville, SC. The location is quiet and well lit. The students will be in walking distance of the public library, local banks, churches and stores, the Bennettsville Police Department and the Marlboro Civic Center, which hosts various entertaining events including the CDF Freedom Schools culminating event.
Housing and Accommodations: Students will live in The Breeden Inn Bed and Breakfast. Each student will have his or her own bedroom and bathroom, but residents in each cottage will share a kitchen and laundry room with coin operated machines. They will have access to the pool which was completely renovated in 2012. They are able to borrow bicycles that are owned by the bed and breakfast to ride around town at no additional cost.
Meals: Students will receive a stipend from DukeEngage to cover the costs of all meals. They will be able to purchase groceries and cook or use their stipends to eat at local restaurants.
Communication: The Breeden Inn has internet access in all rooms. In addition there are several locations around town that have wireless internet access. It is recommended that students bring a laptop.
Transportation: A van will transport students to and from their work sites because there is no public transportation in Bennettsville. In addition to the work sites, students will be transported for weekly trips to the grocery store and other places as needed.
Volunteer Placement Logistics: Primarily, volunteer placement sites are school and community based from 8 am until 5 pm. Occasionally, enrichment activities (e.g. student performances, speech competitions, project presentations) require Servant Leader Interns to support student projects and demonstrate leadership through civic activities.
Opportunities for Autonomy/Private Space: Students will be at the work sites until 4 p.m. on weekdays. They will have program commitments one night per week 6-8 p.m. for parenting seminars. Occasionally they will have additional evening commitments as they prepare for the National Day of Social Action, finale, and other special projects. These additional time commitments would include, but are not limited to, meeting and planning with other staff and teambuilding activities designed to foster positive working relationships.
Miscellaneous: Bennettsville, S.C. was founded in 1819 and named after Governor Thomas Bennett. It quickly grew into one of the richest agricultural communities in the entire state. Legend has it that the land was so rich it once sold by the pound instead of the acre. The State of South Carolina recognized Bennettsville's prominence by officially designating it South Carolina's "first" Great Town. The lifestyle and affluence are captured by Bennettsville's Victorian and Greek revival homes and public buildings.
The Marlboro County Public Library building is named for children's advocate and president of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, who is a native of Bennettsville. There are two display areas with storyboards telling the story of Mrs. Edelman and her early role as a civil rights activist. Media Literacy students from Marlboro County High School also have created a video that chronicles the history of the library and shared it with groups throughout the community. The documentary includes quotes and an interview with Mrs. Edelman. Marlboro County's Public Library serves all citizens from all areas of the county. A bookmobile also is in service. There are five staff members and one director. The Marian Wright Edelman Public Library is a member of the Palmetto Consortium consisting of six other libraries in South Carolina that share resources and materials. These libraries are: Sumter, Chester, Dillon, Georgetown, Darlington, and Marion.
Bennettsville, S.C. i
s the geographical axis between Columbia, S.C., and Fayetteville, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.