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Children's Defense Fund

Children's Defense Fund

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child has a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and a successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

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Your support of Children's Defense Fund provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.

David Williams' story

“I started with CDF Freedom Schools at about age 5. I got more out of CDF Freedom Schools than the regular public school system. It started to kick in that literacy was important and the love of reading became a passion for me. Reading about my culture and my people... you learn things you don't read in regular history books. Every summer I made sure to keep coming back.
After a few years in CDF Freedom Schools, when I was just 8 years old, I promised myself that I would make a difference when I got older by being a role model for children in my hometown of Bennettsville, South Carolina. And that's exactly what I am doing.
I'm currently a school teacher, influenced by my time as a young student in CDF Freedom Schools. I work to be a positive role model, especially for the young men. That's something around this community that we really don't have enough of. I want to instill in them that they can and they will achieve their dreams. We want our kids to reach greatness, to prove people wrong, and overcome stereotypes.
It's hard to overstate the power of CDF Freedom Schools. Outside the classroom, you don't know what is going on in your scholars' lives: hunger, neglect, or trauma. But once they enter your caring environment, all of that goes away. Once they're in that classroom, it's a family.”

Watch how Children's Defense Fund creates lasting smiles by Leaving No Child Behind.