Our Why

The mission of Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School ® Program

To boost student motivation to read, generate more positive attitudes toward learning, increase self-esteem and connect the needs of families and children to the resources of their communities. The Mt. Level Community Partnership for Racial Justice (MLCPRJ) sponsored a Childrens’ Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School program during summer 2023 at Epworth United Methodist Church in Durham.

To offer our students the opportunity to experience more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) activities and be aware of careers in these fields.

Our How

Sponsoring a CDF Freedom School Program would require serious grant writing and fundraising. The budget was set at approximately $100,000. With the assistance of Reynolds Chapman, Executive Director of Durham Cares, our fiscal sponsor, Dr. Aubrey Incorvaia, a Community Partnership member and grant writer, and generous individual donors, churches, and community organizations, $133,000 was raised. Some of our major financial donors included Alfred Street Baptist Church of Alexandria, VA, Valour Academy of Raleigh, United Methodist Church Conference of NC, Duke and Durham Office of Community Affairs, Triangle Community Foundation, and CSX. In-kind donations were also abundantly donated by local churches and organizations such as Epworth UMC, Pilgrim UCC, Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church, Goodwill, Book Harvest, American Dance Festival, Triangle E-Cycle, and Museum of Life and Science. Breakfast and lunches were provided by Durham Public School Child Nutrition Dept. through their Summer Feeding Program.


We are raising funds to make this program possible. If you would like to support, you can give online here and specify “Freedom School,” or write a check to DurhamCares, put “Freedom School” on the memo line, and send to PO Box 331, Durham, NC 27702.


If you are interested in supporting or being involved in other ways, please send an email to durhamfs2023@gmail.com for questions and to tell us how you would like to support the program.