Philadelphia Freedom Schools


Philadelphia Freedom Schools (PFS) provide year-round academic enrichment programming for students in grades K-12. The program builds the intellectual, cultural, civic and political capacity of children and young adults and encourages them to make meaningful change in themselves, their families, their schools, communities and larger society.

PFS is governed and managed through a federation of local community based organizations, with Communities In Schools of Philadelphia (CISP) serving as the lead agency, helping to offer developmental activities for children in need of academic, social, and emotional enrichment.

The PFS Vision

The Philadelphia Freedom Schools’ vision is to create an excellent physically and emotionally safe learning environment where children and adults integrate a love for reading and math with an appreciation for the need for cultural democracy, inter-generational leadership, and family alliances.

Core Values

  • Educational and cultural democracy
  • Familial alliances
  • Civic engagement
  • Inter-generational leadership
  • Collective work and responsibility

Summer Philadelphia Freedom Schools

A six week literacy and math based program for students in grades K-8.  The integrated curricula provides an opportunity to engage youth in a culturally responsive way, helping to spark a love for reading and mathematics.

Junior Servant Leaders (JSLs)

The goal of the JSLs component of PFS is to encourage high school students to embrace servant leadership as a force to heal and foster positive growth in the community. JSLs function as classroom assistants in both after school and summer programs. On Wednesdays during the school year and summer camp, they are instructed by Dr. Greg Carr of Howard University and academic advisers who are certified teachers. The JSLs are coached toward the completion of an academic portfolio and a service learning project.

PFS Training

High school, college, and young professional staff are trained yearly through PFS in literacy- and math-based summer curricula, team building and team teaching, service learning, history, and social activism.  Facilitated by a cadre of young leaders called William Still and Fannie Lou Hamer Trainers, PFS trainings influence organizations and programs throughout the region.

For more information please contact:
Communities In Schools of Philadelphia