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

2020 Update

Our plans for Freedom School 2020 have changed. 

The City of New York has cancelled most summer programming for children and we are following the lead of our local government and postponing our Freedom School program until further notice. It is our hope that we might be able to host the Freedom School participants in some capacity when it is deemed safe to do so, but we do not know how soon that will be.

When we are given permission to bring all the children together, we will likely carry on with some Freedom School traditions like our family cook-out, carnival, talent show, and game days. If it the COVID-19 crisis improves and it is safe to have camp or other activities for families this summer, we will contact our Freedom School families immediately.

We know that New York families are suffering with illness, grief, loss of income, and loss of childcare and school services. We are working on ways to support families during this time through online engagement, our food pantry, and other options – click here to learn more about local options.

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 2020 Riverside Freedom School

Volunteer with the 2020 Freedom School

Breakfast & Lunch Volunteers

2020 Freedom School has been postponed until further notice

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 the 2020 Freedom School

Give to Riverside Freedom School



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