Freedom Schools: Preventing the ‘Summer Slide’

2015 Freedom Schools students enjoying an arts and crafts activity.

NOTE: As of Feb. 29, 2024, Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) has rebranded to Landmarks for Families. Our nonprofit, community programs and residential services remain committed to cultivating thriving youth and families in this new chapter.

Carolina Youth Development Center is gearing up for an action-packed slate of summer programming full of learning, discovery and fun!

It begins on June 20 with Freedom Schools, which provides exposure to inspirational books and learning activities, helping to prevent “summer learning loss” for 50 children.

The six-week program is free for local families, and requires parents to participate in weekly sessions that support them in being involved in their children’s education.

Freedom Schools serves young children living in shelters at CYDC and students in North Charleston Title I schools in grades K-8. The Freedom Schools program empowers children to embrace their responsibility to make a difference in themselves, their family, their community, their country and their world.

Community partners fund the program. Lead sponsors for CYDC’s Freedom Schools program include Cummins Foundation, Community Block Development Grant (CDBG), Wells Fargo Foundation, Trident United Way and The CarMax Foundation. The Rotary Club of Charleston is also a sponsor.

The sponsorship grants will also support the servant leader interns who provide the instruction that keeps the young students engaged and who give the children new role models to emulate.

CYDC’s Freedom Schools is a partner site of the nationally-recognized program developed by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF).

This summer’s programming will include not only intensive reading-related activities, but also sports and team-building exercises, arts and crafts, and field trips. Local college-student interns, trained by CDF at a national training seminar in Knoxville, Tenn., lead all sessions.

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CYDC is now Landmarks for Families!

For more than 230 years, we have guided neighbors toward stronger, hopeful futures and now we’re evolving too. We’re grateful to enter this new chapter with you. Welcome to Landmarks for Families!