How We Work

Cradle to College Pipeline, Inc.

The mission of the Cradle to College Pipeline (aka C2C Pipeline, or C2CP) is to improve the quality of life for the children and youth of Baltimore City and its greater metropolitan area through high quality out of school programming which promotes physical, intellectual and social growth. C2CP uses a “business synergy paradigm” used in the Merger and Acquisition Industry, but modified for the non profit space to “roll‐up partners” into truly collaborative organizational formats. C2CP is the umbrella organization through which a host of community and national partnerships flow with Maryland Schools, the Children’s Defense Fund, churches, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Center for Summer Learning, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Johns Hopkins, nonprofit organizations, charter schools and other universities allowing a truly differentiated out of school, year round program for at risk, low‐income children; but allowing partnering organizations to customize programming based on their niche and competitive advantages in serving children. The program includes:

:: proven rigorous academic and mentoring components;
:: a literacy rich curriculum;
:: traditional and non traditional sports;
:: arts, parental involvement, exposure to college and collegiate mentoring; and
:: pre‐college preparation.

Freedom schools are the core component of the organizational vehicle by which we deliver programming and then sites and partners layer on customized approaches which comprise a perpetually increasing robust pipeline of offerings.

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools, which began in 1993, are modeled after the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964, which was a major political action aimed at securing basic democratic rights for Mississippi’s disenfranchised black citizens and to help them cope with the racism that they would endure at the polls. CDF used that model and spirit to create its own summer and after school youth programs, using highly trained, uniquely energized personnel, an integrated reading curriculum that sets high expectations in learning for children and offers lesson plans and teaching techniques that help children improve their academic skills and boost their self esteem.

C2CP’s Baltimore Freedom Schools is part of a nationwide Freedom School network of more than 124 program sites in 61 cities and 25 states serving over 8,300 children. The programs' outcomes (from the national office) have been studied by the Kaufman Foundation, and proven to close the summer learning gap by increasing reading literacy, and desire to read, as well as testing scores, and academic confidence. Staffed by high energy college interns put through a rigorous training “boot camp” that they come to enjoy and seek out year after year, Freedom school environments created by these interns produce a supportive and nurturing learning environment for children during the critical out of school time, generating a high expectation learning environment known as the “Freedom School Way”.

The Center for Summer Learning has guidelines on successful programs that we adhere to strictly: They are:

Approach to Learning

1. Intentional focus on accelerating learning
2. Firm commitment to youth development
3. Proactive approach to summer learning
Program Infrastructure
4. Strong, empowering leadership
5. Advanced, collaborative planning
6. Extensive opportunities for staff development
7. Strategic partnerships
8. Rigorous approach to evaluation and commitment to program improvement
9. Clear focus on sustainability and cost-effectiveness


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