Since 2021, Easter Hill United Methodist Church has sponsored Richmond CDF Freedom School, a six-week summer literacy and social justice summer program focused on reading, multicultural literature, and social action for elementary school students in our community.
Our program, a fiscal project of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, is part of a national movement, led by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), that boosts students’ motivation to read, generates positive attitudes toward learning, and connects the needs of children and families to the resources in their communities.
Rooted in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program is designed to serve K–12 scholars in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is limited, too expensive, or non-existent. Easter Hill partners with members of our congregation and community stakeholders to offer Richmond Freedom School at no cost to the families we serve.
Starting with an initial group of 50 students in 2021, Richmond Freedom School is authorized to serve 70 elementary school students for summer 2023. The program operates out of an elementary school that is a 10-minute walk from the church, and we have had strong support from our local school district.