Freedom School

Launched in 2016, The Riverside Freedom School is committed to providing an excellent summer experience to the young scholars of our community at absolutely no cost to participants. Because of the generosity of Riverside community members, children have access to superb literacy and social justice curriculum for six weeks over the summer.

Meet the Freedom School Scholars

Scientific Engineers & Artist Artists

Moments That Make Me Smile

Everyone Is Friends

2021 Update

Summer Program begins July 7 

While the Riverside CDF Freedom School has been postponed this year, The Riverside Church has committed to providing our families with a summer program experience to maintain our relationship with our young scholars and help to make summer 2021 a summer of learning. Our Education Ministry team will continue with the tradition of Harambe, literacy, and social justice curriculum each week through the month of July and into August to keep the spirit of Freedom School alive. The 2021 summer program will take place mostly outdoors with COVID-19 protocols in place. For more information, please email Amanda Meisenheimer.

The Riverside Freedom School

Riverside’s Freedom School offers scholars:

*Personalized academic coaching utilizing Children’s Defense Fund reading enrichment modules.
*Support and love from a host of inter-generational camp mentors.
*Two nutritious means and a snack every day.
*Daily fun afternoon activities promoting learning and physical activities like swimming, visiting the Liberty Science Center, the Rose Center for Earth & Space, The Schwartzman Library, The American Museum of Natural History, and more.

Freedom School curriculum is rooted in the Civil Rights Movement and based on the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964, organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program was created in 1995 and has since served more than 135,000 scholars.

Based on a Philliber Research Associates evaluation of the Freedom School program, scholars who attend Freedom School programs score significantly higher on standardized reading achievement tests than children who attend other summer enrichment programs. African American middle school boys made the greatest gains of all.

Register for the 2021 Riverside Freedom School

2021 Riverside Freedom School Summer Program

Register for Riverside Summer Kids Program and Vacation Bible School Now!

July 7 – August 13, 2021 | 8:30am – 3:00pm | Outdoors @ Riverside Church

This summer our Riverside Freedom School team will be offering a six-week summer program for a small group of 30 children between the ages of 6 and 12-years-old. The program will take place mostly outside, and with appropriate COVID-19 protocols. If you are interested in registering your child or for more information, please reach out to Lennith Santos-Santana at Children who have just finished kindergarten through eighth grade are welcome to apply.

Breakfast & Lunch Volunteers

Join the Freedom School team as we provide a healthy breakfast and lunch to the Freedom School scholars.

Contact Lennith Santos-Santana to find out more about volunteering with the Riverside Freedom School

Donate to Riverside Freedom School

Changing kids’ lives through the power of Reading! Your Gift Matters.

How Far Does Your Gift Go?

Your support provides on-going resources that prepare our scholars for the summer.

  • $100 buys 15 books for one classroom.
  • $500 supports an afternoon activity for 60 scholars.
  • $1,000 funds a field trip on a school bus to a museum.
  • $3,000 funds 6-weeks of swimming at an Olympic-sized pool.
  • $5,000 secures classroom supplies for the 6-week program.
  • $5,000 funds healthy breakfasts and lunches for 60 scholars for six weeks.
  • $10,000 funds travel expenses for 7 staffers to CDF Freedom School training.


For more ways to help, please email Amanda Meisenheimer today.