The DREAM Program, Inc.
Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure, and Mentoring
2003 Annual Report
This report is dedicated to Debbie Gourley Violette for her inspiration and dedication to making DREAM a reality while she worked as the Property Manager for Templeton Court, our first program site. We can not thank you enough for everything you have done for the program and for our fellow Vermonters.
Printed 2004 The DREAM Program, Inc. P.O. Box 361 Winooski, VT 05404 Tel: 802-655-9015 Fax: 802-654-8598 Website: www.dreamprogram.org Contact: email@example.com 2
Table of Contents The DREAM Program, Inc. 2003 Annual Report
Introductions Mission Statement / Core Values........................................................... 4 Letters of Introduction ........................................................................5-6
Local Programs Local Programs Introduction ................................................................. 7 Dartmouth & Templeton/Hollow Dr...................................................8-9 Dartmouth & Armory Square .............................................................. 10 UVM & Elm Street .........................................................................11-12 St. Michael's & Franklin Square .....................................................13-14 Norwich University & Green Acres..................................................... 15
Summertime Summer Program Introduction............................................................. 16 Summer Interns...............................................................................17-18 High Adventure...............................................................................19-20 Tripscape.........................................................................................21-22 Camp DREAM .................................................................................... 23
Alumni Organization News & Updates .................................................................................. 24
Central Office News & Updates .................................................................................. 25 Office Staff .....................................................................................26-27 Evaluations .....................................................................................28-29
Fundraising & Finances Donor Thank You ...........................................................................30-31 News & Updates .................................................................................. 32 Financial Statements .......................................................................33-45
Mission Statement & Core Values Our Mission: DREAM builds communities of families and college students that empower children from disadvantaged circumstances to recognize their options, make informed decisions, and achieve their dreams.
Transparency: DREAM’s business is the formation of human relationships. Clear, consistent, open, and honest communication is the foundation for creating the trust and understanding necessary for these relationships to succeed. DREAM’s community enjoys equality across roles. DREAM takes seriously the confidentiality of personal matters, but all other information, decisions, reasons, and intents should flow freely to everyone involved in the organization.
Empowerment through Ownership: There should never be a sense that there is a higher authority in DREAM. Delegation should occur by entrusting the problems, not the solutions, and then having the humility to encourage the solutions that are then created by the ownership. It is difficult to truly relinquish control of projects for fear that they may not be solved the way initially intended, but the ensuing feeling of ownership creates a desire to continually improve the program. When individuals feel complete control of a project, they invest themselves more wholly than if they were just participating. By distributing ownership of different projects, DREAM maximizes its available resources and ensures shared enthusiasm for the program. And that is the magic, the strength, and the sustainability behind DREAM.
Contagious Energy: DREAM lives and feeds off of its contagious energy. We all bring to the program what we are excited about and motivated by. Those outside the program can sense this energy and are drawn to DREAM because of it. It creates a fun and attractive environment where diverse interests are encouraged and new ideas are supported. DREAM’s contagious energy perpetuates the feeling that anything is possible with a can-do attitude.
Supportive Community: Those involved in DREAM—children, parents, mentors, staff, alumni, and other supporters — are part of a single community that works to support and sustain itself. We are also respectful of the various other communities with which we interact. We promote tolerance by celebrating differences within and outside of our community. Everyone in DREAM is an equal partner, and the importance of relationships is central to the way our community operates. If people in our community have problems they are faced with or an idea they would like to pursue, they find comfort in the fact that other members of our community rally around them, support their efforts, and encourage them to succeed.
Safety: DREAM must pursue all of its endeavors through the bedrock of safety. DREAM must be physically and emotionally safe for all of its participants – mentors, children, and adults. Safety should never be seen as an insurmountable obstacle, but rather as a challenge to be faced in everything DREAM does. If there is something that a DREAMer can dream of doing, there is a way to do it safely, and DREAM will find that way.
Encourage Dreaming: We encourage dreaming in each other by broadening the scope of what seems possible, supporting others in their dreams, and setting the example through pursuing our own big dreams. Each mentor’s experience challenges us to unlock our dreams and share them with our partners, and each mentor is charged with discovering and encouraging the children’s dreams. Dreaming is contagious – put a group of imaginative minds together, light the fuse, and enjoy the fireworks. 4
Letters of Introduction From the Executive Director: Thank you to everyone who helped to make 2003 another great year for DREAM. DREAM is blessed to have so many wonderful people involved in the organization. In these pages, you will find a summary of DREAM’s accomplishments in 2003. It is a great opportunity to take a moment to sit and reflect on how far we all came in one short year. As 2003 began, •
Brooke, Paul, and I were still working out of the living room of my apartment in Burlington, and we had a separate program office in White River Junction. It wasn’t until March that we all moved to our current office at the Elm Street Apartments in Winooski.
It’s hard to believe, but the Franklin Square program didn’t exist. It was incredible to witness that program take hold and thrive over the course of the year.
The High Adventure trips that had no children involved, no mentors to lead them, and no destinations planned. The whirlwind of activity required to send two groups of mentors and children to the west coast was inspiring. The fact that both groups pulled off successful trips is simply amazing.
The year was also one in which DREAM began to be formally recognized for its achievements. At the Vermont Mentoring Partnership’s annual Mentors Make a Difference conference, Governor Jim Douglas presented DREAM with the award for Outstanding Mentor Program. Just one week later, the Elm Street DREAM program received a similar award as the Outstanding Organization at the University of Vermont. We are humbled to have been given these two honors. The passion of DREAM’s mentors, children, parents, staff, and supporters is something that has never been questioned. The challenge that we face is to maintain that energy while channeling it to create a solid organization that will be around for years to come. Please look through these pages to see how much progress we made in 2003. Dream, Jon Potter Executive Director Jon playing with kids
From the Board of Directors: DREAM’s Board of Directors has been in existence for just over 2 years and has had the opportunity to watch a small group of staff with a strong idea create a state-wide program that currently serves 150 children, their families, and their college student partners. One of my favorite quotes from the year was by a father of four children in the University of Vermont DREAM Program, “I don't know if it's like this for every parent here, but I have a really good relationship with my kids' mentors. I mean, if they came to my house and asked to borrow my TV and I was watching the Super Bowl, I would give them my TV.” If that doesn’t convey the importance of these mentors in the lives of our DREAM families, I don’t know what does! As a policy-governing board, we focus the energies of the organization by setting certain directions for organizational operation (formerly called Executive Limitations and Ends, both of which will soon be online for all to see). This model, made famous by John Carver, allows us to ensure the long term vision and sustainability of DREAM without becoming bogged down
in the details of day-to-day operations or the fervor of “fundraising boards.” The past year has been quite busy as we focused on building the systems to be an effective governing body. Needless to say, our Board is excited for the coming year where it will solidify Ends Policy (policy that shapes the mission of the organization), prepare for founder-transition through the recruitment of DREAM’s Assistant Director, develop evaluations, and continue to strengthen its membership. Holding these hefty responsibilities is our current Board of five members: •
Lisa Christie, Executive Director, Everybody Wins! VT
Drew Sheriff, Analyst, Cambridge Associates
Brianna Dusseault, Math Teacher, City on a Hill
Ed Willenbaker, Executive Director, Winooski Housing
Mike Foote, Programs Director, DREAM Continued on next page... 5
Letters of Introduction ...continued
Though our Board members bring energy and a diversity of experience to DREAM, our mentors deserve the kudos for DREAM’s accomplishments. They were not just the gears for this amazing year, they were the wheels, horn, seatbelts, engine, and gas tank as well! Quite literally too: every week our mentors transport 150 children to their college campuses and run program that is unsurpassed by any other mentoring organization I have ever experienced. And this is just the beginning of their accomplishments that you will be exposed to in this report! With that, I wish the best to you and your loved ones, enjoy
the report, and dream! Mike Foote Board President P.S. We always encourage those who believe in DREAM and wish to play an active role in ensuring the long term vision of the organization to apply to join our Board! Mike giving piggy-back rides
From a DREAM Parent: When I enrolled my daughter, Jocelyn, into the DREAM program in the fall of 2003 I could never have fathomed what a positive experience it would turn out to be. My daughter has experienced opportunities she wouldn’t have had without the aid of this program. She has gained not only a positive role model in her mentor, but a good friend and advocate as well. As a single mother of a special needs infant who requires a lot of extra care, I thought the DREAM program would be a wonderful way to provide Jocelyn with extra one on one attention. Something she wasn’t getting a lot of since her brother had been born two months early and I’d enrolled in college part time. I had a friend whose children had been enrolled the year before and they loved it. When I first met my daughter’s DREAM mentor, Kerrie, I was a bit skeptical about the match because Kerrie is a very quiet, relaxed, and optimistic person and my daughter is a loud, hyperactive and defiant five-year-old. I couldn’t have been more wrong about the pairing. They balance each other out and challenge each other every time they are together. Kerrie spends one day a week and every DREAM Friday with Jocelyn. She has never missed a week and even quit one of her two jobs to be able to spend the extra day with Jocelyn. On her college vacations, Jocelyn calls Kerrie every week and Kerrie even stayed with us during one break. Kerrie has become part of our family. Kerrie helped Jocelyn make a gingerbread house, bake Christmas cookies, write her Valentine’s Day cards for school and decorate Easter eggs. She has dinner with us every Friday night and even cooked dinner for me on my birthday, after she had taken Jocelyn shopping for my birthday and bought me a present. She helped us decorate our Christmas tree and she drove all the way back from Rhode Island to attend Jocelyn’s holiday performance over her winter break. She also reads Jocelyn a bedtime story three nights a week. The walls of
Kerrie’s dorm room are plastered with pictures Jocelyn has colored and drawn for her. Kerrie even attended one of Jocelyn’s counseling appointments with me to try and explain the challenges that interacting with Jocelyn can present. Jocelyn has ADHD and ODD and this presents special challenges in dealing with her. Kerrie has risen to the occasion and continues to keep trying This spring, Kerrie used a DREAM grant to enroll Jocelyn in swimming lessons at the local YMCA. She picks her up and takes her to the lessons every Tuesday. After swimming lessons, they go to Burger King for dinner together. Before Kerrie entered Jocelyn’s life, Jocelyn couldn’t behave long enough to eat dinner at a restaurant. Now they both look forward to this special time together. This program and the wonderful people who make this program work have given our family, especially Jocelyn, a great gift that money can never buy: individual attention and a true friend. Kerrie’s influence on Jocelyn has benefited our whole family. She has developed better social skills and her selfesteem and self-confidence is very high. Jocelyn looks forward to her time with Kerrie and always comes back with a smile. She has enjoyed having another adult in her life she can do things with. She has learned about loyalty, commitment, and trust. She knows when Kerrie says she is going to do something she means it. She is looking forward to the summer DREAM program being run by Kerrie. Sincerely, Amy Booher Kerrie and Jocelyn at Halloween
By Paul Biggs, Central Office
All of DREAM's direct service components, such as mentoring, trips, community events, etc., are planned and run by individual, autonomous Local Programs (LPs). The foundation of each of these LPs is the partnership between students from a single college and families from a nearby public housing development. From this base, each Local Program is run by two student co-chairs with support from a Local Advisory Board (composed of college mentors and parents from the community), various mentor committees (e.g. fundraising or trip planning), the Central Office, and of course the mentors, children, and families themselves — everyone has a hand in the day-to-day activities of the LPs! Currently, there are five programs (see map above), with a
sixth DREAM Program site in the works between Castleton State College and the Forest Park community. You can find out more about their histories at: www.dreamprogram.org/about/localprograms.htm The LPs run their core mentoring programs each Friday afternoon for around 3 hours, where all the kids are picked up by volunteer student drivers and brought back to the college campus for both one-on-one time and group activities. On special occasions the mentors and kids take longer trips together, to local museums or parks, for example. And at the end of the semester, ambitious programs take weekend trips to places like Boston or Montreal — known as “culminating experiences.” In addition to this, mentors and kids meet up and hang out on other days throughout the week on an individual basis, as well as organize big community events like BBQs or bands.
Local Programs: Dartmouth & Templeton/Hollow Dr. Program Facts Location:
White River Jct, VT
Year’s Co-Chairs... Winter:
Older... Summer: David Bradt Summer: Rawson Daniel Fall:
Younger... Summer: Alex Dominguez Summer: Lindsey Horton Fall:
By Claire Chandler, Dartmouth (from ‘03 Spring)
The 3rd annual DREAM Ski Day at the Dartmouth Skiway was held on Sunday, March 2nd, 2003. Over sixty DREAMers from Templeton and Armory Square skied and snowboarded. For some, it was their first time ever skiing, and for others who have participated in the previous DREAM ski days it was their third time at the Dartmouth Skiway. As large snowflakes fell, DREAMers and their mentors made a colorful display of bright winter jackets and hats on Snow angels! the bunny hill. Many mentors who were beginner skiers and snowboarders learned along side their partners while other mentors choose the safer option of staying in shoes. The more experienced skiing and snowboarding mentors taught the DREAMers and beginning mentors how to navigate smoothly down the hill. 8
“The DREAM Ski Day proved to be a learning experience for Shawna and me. Shawna learned how to go down the bunny hill all by herself including stopping at the end! And, I learned that potato chips dipped in coke, sprite, and hot chocolate are in fact quite good despite my initial doubts at lunchtime,” said mentor Rebecca Taxier. Like many other partners, Rebecca and Shawna spent a long time getting fitted for boots and skis, and then, Rebecca ran up and down the bunny hill with Shawna. Rebecca who was in shoes held Shawna’s hands while she skied down. They ended the day hanging out w i t h o t h e r Boarders posing after a nice run DREAMers while eating a lot of chips dipped in beverages. After a long morning on the hill, the DREAMers had lunch in the lodge before driving home.
Local Programs: Dartmouth & Templeton/Hollow Dr. By Rawson Daniel, Dartmouth (from ‘03 Fall)
Last summer, Templeton DREAM re-organized into three smaller groups: kids younger than 10 were placed in "Little DREAM," kids in between 11-14 were in "Big DREAM," and a few of the kids who were older than 14 were placed in "Extreme DREAM." During the Fall 2003 Term, I co-chaired Older DREAM along with Julia Cohen, another Dartmouth '05. We experienced some extreme ups and downs, as we had a great term and amazing culminating experience, but also were very sad to see many families move away. We began this past Fall with close to 60 kids and mentors. Members from all of Dartmouth's classes except this year's freshmen made up the program, and the term began with much fun. On Halloween, we held a huge haunted house in SigEp's basement that resulted in a lot of really happy and really hyper kids, but also a few in tears. :) Before Christmas break, we took the kids to the Ben and Jerry's Factory in Waterbury, VT for our culminating experience. I think everyone was psyched because of the ice cream and not the tour, but it was fun.
By Carly O'Connell, Dartmouth (from ‘03 Fall)
It was another gorgeous fall in Hanover, and Little DREAM started off the school year with tons of excitement. This fall we made the most of the beautiful outdoors… while we still could. Building leaf piles and jumping in them, leaf fights, leaf art projects. Canoeing on the river. Jumping on trampolines. Apple picking. Soccer on the Green. The Upper Valley is such a great place to explore. We had a couple of great parties this fall too. A new
By Lindsey Horton, Dartmouth (from ‘03 Fall)
Have you ever been to a Major League baseball stadium? Have you ever kissed a big green monster on the nose? And then gotten its autograph? Have you ever walked on the field at Fenway Park, looked in the Red Sox dugout, and touched the scoreboard? The Templeton Little DREAMers can now answer "YES" to all of these questions! On November 22nd, we took a bus trip to Boston with our 28 DREAMers and their mentors. Riding in style, we spent two hours watching "Finding Nemo" and "The Grinch" as our bus driver tried to figure out what to make of such a fun and crazy group. After a quick picnic lunch in Boston, we met our personal tour guide who took us into Fenway Park. We got to walk through the stands, sit in the .406 Club bleachers, look at old Red Sox posters & Sports Illustrated covers, and even walk around the warning track on the field. The highlight of the afternoon was a personal visit from Wally the Big Green Monster, the Red Sox mascot, who autographed posters for everyone! Many of the DREAMers got a chance to shake
Sadly, this past term we had to say some farewells. The Wilsons moved North near St. Johnsbury, the Souzas moved to Pennsylvania, and some of the oldest DREAMers are getting as old as the mentors themselves (for the later group, we hope to get them on board with Camp DREAM this summer as CITs, a.k.a. counselors in training, as well as some other Playing at Ben and Jerry’s leadership roles in the community during the regular school year)!
Dartmouth service program threw us a “reading” party, and each DREAMer got to go home with 2 new books. We also had a Halloween party and went trick-or-treating in the Choates dorm cluster. We put on a parade of everything from princesses to devils, from a bumblebee to a graduate! Everyone looked great and ate tons of candy. Overall, it was a great Fall and we had lots of fun, especially with our culminating trip to Boston to see Fenway Park and the Boston Children’s Museum (see below!).
Wally's hand, take pictures with him, and even squeeze his big red nose. A f t e r w a l k i n g through the whole stadium, we got back on the bus and The kids got to meet Wally drove to the Boston Children's Museum where we spent the rest of the afternoon. Highlights of this kid-friendly museum included a dress-up area, a mini climbing wall, lots of bubbles, and the biggest indoor playground we've ever seen. On our way back to Hanover, kids and mentors were full of smiles and ready to tell stories to their parents, siblings, and friends. One little DREAMer even asked, "Can we come back to Boston every Friday?" 9
Local Programs: Dartmouth & Armory Square Program Facts Location:
Year’s Co-Chairs... Winter:
Summer: Daniella Hirschfield Summer: Jetti Gibson Summer: Kristin Burdge Fall:
Summer Intern: By Daniella Hirschfield, Dartmouth (from ‘03 Spring)
This spring term brings to a close DREAM at Armory Square’s first full year. Though it has been a rocky road, it has also been a beautiful and wonderful one. It has been full of good times, shared laughs and new experiences that will one day become found memories. There have been two major highlights of this term. One was a family-mentor picnic. We held the event at the old fairgrounds in Windsor Vermont. Here at the children’s local playground we served a variety of sandwiches, homemade pasta salad, potato salad, and chips with handmade onion dip. At this event parents got to meet their children’s mentors. Though some had spoken on the phone, most had never met face to face. It was a very rewarding experience for everyone. The parents were both grateful and relieved to learn that their kids were in the hands of responsible, fun, caring individuals. This also gave us mentors a chance to see the world in which the children we work with live. Though Armory Square itself is not the best environment seeing the care the parents give their children was very heartening. Furthermore, As Katie Winterbottom said “it was great to hang out with the parents in a laid back setting. Thus we came to find that many of them have fantastic senses of humor.” The other major highlight of the term was the culminating experience. For this we had an exciting scavenger followed by a camp out on Dartmouth’s Titcome Island. The scavenger hunt was an excellent way for the children to show us their knowledge of campus places, for they could not ask us for help. Furthermore, they were forced to show us their resourcefulness and their people skills. Their resourcefulness came out in their ability to find random items, such as videotapes, duck tape, trays etc. Their people skills were required because they had to ask to borrow items or ask others for directions. All teams performed very well, each scoring over 50 points. The campout followed this exciting event. We all piled into canoes and in teams of 3 or 4, paddled for about 20 minutes to 10
the island. Once there we started a fire and before long we were all gathered round. Though there was a light rain, it did not bother any of us. We bundled up in all kinds of cloths. And those without rain gear were quickly dressed in stylish plastic bags. Standing around the fire toasting marshmallows was certainly the greatest of moments. In fact many have told me the camping trip was definitely one of my their best DREAM experiences yet.” In between these grand large events have been regular Friday meetings were we each get to spend private time with the kid we mentor. Many mentors have commented on the value of this time. Alex Kallis writes, “DREAM was the best of ways for me to end my week. In between the stress of studying and the laziness of Saturdays was a time when I was responsible for someone other then myself. The program helped give perspective to my life at college that I otherwise would never have had.” For others this time is about learning new skills and finding new interests. Rebecca Wehrly’s “favorite thing to do with Megan is to play piano. One afternoon, Megan went over to a piano and started playing it, but not any specific song. I sat down beside her and we worked on Mary Had a Little Lamb. Although it isn't the most exciting piece, it was really fun to play together and find an activity that we could both concentrate on for a long time.” Thus as the term draws to a close we are left with very fond and happy memories from our time with our kids. We all also can learn from Stephanie Feldman when she says “DREAM provided me a chance to meet a wonderful 6 year-old girl and although she moved to Tennessee I didn't lose a mentee, I gained a pen pal.” Hopefully these bonds that have been formed will be lasting ones, and those not here for the summer will maintain contact with their newfound friends. But even if we lose touch over time we should all be heartened to know that we have positively impacted the children that we worked with and they most definitely will look back on these memories with smiles on their faces.
Local Programs: UVM & Elm Street Program Facts Location:
Year’s Co-Chairs... Spring:
By Kristi Kushmerek, UVM (from ‘03 Spring)
One addition made to UVM DREAM this past winter was the Burton Chill Program. This program was sponsored by the Burton Snowboard Factory and gave seven kids from the Elm Street housing development an opportunity to travel to the mountain once a week with at least two mentors and receive assistance in learning to snowboard. This was the first season of the Chill program and it was very well received. All of the kids involved were ecstatic with how much they learned and how much fun they had. Not only were the kids excited, but also the mentors who made it to the mountain to help and observe the progress each child was making were equally as excited and pleased with the program. Everyone is extremely excited to continue the program next winter! UVM DREAM has been very concerned about recruiting new mentors for the fall 03’ semester. With thirteen seniors graduating, we are focusing on finding mentors to fill the gap before we can consider accepting new kids from the development into the program. With the end of the semester rapidly approaching we had a hard time publicizing info sessions, but we have a list of interested students and were able to use our Spring Thing event as a great advertisement for the program. That spring event, also known as Spring Thing, consisted of two bands, numerous activities such as tug of war, tie-dyed Tshirts, a giant game of Twister, and a barbeque. The event brought out many students on a beautiful day and gave them all a chance to see both the St. Michael’s and UVM DREAM
programs interact with their participating children and their families, while showing everyone a good time. Homework Helpers was an addition made to UVM DREAM opportunities this past semester. DREAMers were given the option to meet at their elementary school right after school for about an hour and a half twice a week. About seven mentors committed to this and this program also gave UVM students who were not mentors the opportunity to get involved and volunteer. This was especially supportive because there are a lot of students at UVM that have been very interested in DREAM but didn’t learn about it soon enough to become a mentor or just don’t have enough time to commit to the program. There was hesitation before the program began because mentors were worried that the kids would take advantage of the time and just expect playtime for the afternoon. However, so far the program has been very successful. Many of the kids depend on this time to receive help and complete their studies, and the parents have been extremely pleased with the outcome. “The kids that come know that they have to be productive and accomplish something and that it’s not just time to play with mentors,” said one mentor. We have seen DREAM at UVM take many steps in developing new programs and growing within the Burlington, Winooski, and UVM communities over this past year. Many of the people who made DREAM at UVM possible will be graduating after this semester, but it is clear that this program has impressed everyone to a great extent and will continue to grow and develop with every year it exists. 11
Local Programs: UVM & Elm Street Mentoring story
UVM wins award!
Kaitlinn, Casey, and Devon: We started off this spring semester with some cooking in Casey's kitchen. Unfortunately, we tried a recipe called Never Fail Fudge and guess what, yup, it failed! So we decided to take a break from cooking. We have done many things but our favorite memories together are walking down Church Street on Friday afternoons. We enjoy spending time all together and we also like to spend some time one on one. Devon usually chooses to spend one on one time exploring the many bookstores in Burlington. Kaitlinn likes to go spend time with the dogs at the Humane Society. We will all miss each other next Fall :(
The UVM DREAM program was awarded the President’s Award for Outstanding Organization. The UVM Department of Student Life presented it in “recognition of a lasting impact” that DREAM has had “upon the University and Burlington communities.” CoChair Kristi Kushmerek that the said it best when she emailed everyone saying, “I am so incredibly proud of everyone in this program for all of the hard work [they] have been putting in over the past year. We have grown so much in a year, and not only me, but everyone on this campus is so amazed at what we have accomplished.”
By Stephanie Gergely, UVM (from ‘03 Fall)
It is impossible to deny the excitement and passion for DREAM that all those involved in the program have. Indeed, it is contagious and the Elm Street program is strong evidence of that. The energy of DREAM has not only spread all over the Elm St. community, but throughout the University of Vermont campus as well. This semester we added almost twenty new mentors to our program, as well as twenty new children. It’s so exciting to see eighty people gathered together every Friday afternoon, hanging out and having fun. However, the numbers are slightly overwhelming and we are planning to separate into two groups this semester, which will meet in two different locations but still join together for major activities and monthly meetings. The Blue group will comprise children over ten, while the Yellow group will be made up of children under the age of ten. This past Fall went by quickly, with quite a few gatherings. Our second annual Chili Cook-off was held at the end of September. Although the day was cooler than expected, we managed to attract quite a crowd. People danced to the music of The Grift in order to keep warm. The crowd brought their appetites. We even ran out of Chili. As the evening came to a close, people were already beginning plans for next year and concocting winning chili recipes. We concluded the semester with a celebratory talent show that showcased children, mentors, and even a few parents. We were all amazed by the jokes, dancing capabilities, talented 12
actors, and magic tricks that we saw that night. The mentors even serenaded the children with a song that was written by three of the children especially for the night's event. It was fun to see different sides and hidden talents of DREAM members. Plans are already underway for next semester as we look forward to our second annual Spring Thing, a Scooping ice cream at the Chili Cook-off weekly reading hour, and perhaps even a trip to Montreal or Washington, DC. Also CHILL (snowboarding lessons by Burton) is underway for a second year. Even though we have to contend with freezing temperatures, five of the DREAMers and one mentor have braved the cold weather twice to perfect their snowboarding skills. The energy and excitement of University of Vermont mentors and the Elm Street families has only increased through the past two years and we are looking forward to building upon that enthusiasm in the upcoming months. Keep DREAMing!
Local Programs: St. Michael’s & Franklin Square Program Facts Location:
By Robin Locke, St. Michael’s (from ‘03 Spring)
It's hard to believe that it was only a few months ago that a DREAM program was started at Saint Michael's College. What began as a handful of curious students responding to flyers placed around the campus has grown to an active and successful group of dedicated and passionate mentors, parents, and children. What we thought would be a difficult undertaking became in actuality an exciting journey thanks to the enthusiasm of everyone involved. Yes, it is hard to believe that this program that no one at Saint Michael's had ever heard of is already perhaps the most popular and well organized mentoring program on campus. Here is a quick recap of Saint Michael's first year working with the children of Franklin Square. Our first objective of the program was to really get to know both the mentors and children and establish meaningful relationships within the group. To do this, we began the beginning of the year with games and activities to reinforce teamwork as well as leadership. Some of the activities were more difficult, such as making forts out of newspaper to protect ourselves from the imaginary big wave that would be crashing into us. Other activities were more simple and just involved having a great time, such as playing kickball, spud, musical chairs, ice skating, or making our own mugs. All of these activities and games were in the end very successful, as every
child found a mentor that they felt a special connection to. We also gave the children many different opportunities to see what college life is like. We organized a scavenger hunt so that the children could explore many of the facilities of Saint Michael's, such as the gym, bookstore, cafeterias, and library. We also brought the children to see a Saint Michael's baseball game, but as attention spans waned the focus became our own sports games on the sidelines. However, the event that the children of Franklin Square loved most was when they were able to eat at our dining hall. Despite the planning of all our other activities, this visit to Alliot was definitely a favorite moment for the kids. The kids were also able to try their hand at planning and organizing events with our Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser. The children designed and sold their own tickets to friends, family, teachers, and the Saint Michael's community, as well as decorated the tablecloths for the event and worked as servers. The event was quite a success, and we were able to use the profit to bring the kids to Boston to visit the Aquarium and Children's Museum, a trip that would truly bring us together as partners. Overall, this year was an ultimate success. With hard work we were able to surpass our goals while still having a fabulous time. We couldn't have done it without any one mentor, parent, and especially, child, whose smiles inspire us every day. Thanks to everyone who helped us out this year, and we'll see you in the fall! 13
Local Programs: St. Michael’s & Franklin Square By Andrea Smolen, St. Michael’s (from ‘03 Spring)
The St. Michael’s chapter of DREAM’s culminating trip to Boston was truly an event to remember. After much planning and a delicious spaghetti dinner to help to raise money for the trip, it was an undeniable success. All of the children, along with the mentors worked together to pull together something incredible. Waking up at 500 AM on Sunday morning, April 27th, the mentors set off to pick up the children at Franklin Square, who of course, were wide awake and ready to rock and roll. The three hour ride down couldn’t have been better, except for the countless bathroom breaks but finally DREAM arrived in Boston. We began the day with the Boston Aquarium, which the kids found amazing. The look on their faces as they watched sea life come to life was priceless. We even got to meet up with some DREAM alumni during lunch. After the aquarium it was time for the Children’s Museum. The place was absolutely wonderful and at times the mentors seemed to be having more fun than the children. There was an Alice in Wonderland exhibit, a bubble room, a real Chinese house and countless of other things to see, learn and discover. It is something that I am sure no one will ever forget. Once we were finished at the museum, it was time for dinner and what better place to eat than the famous Fanueil Hall. With so many choices the children didn’t know what to do. We all broke off into small groups in order to make the eating process a little easier and then before we knew it we were gathered outside for one final group shot before the bus came.
The whole crew in Boston
The ride home was quiet, except for a boisterous mentors and their partners who were still excited from the day’s activities. Just as we were pulling up to Franklin Square, everyone fell asleep! It was amazing to arrive back in Burlington after such an incredible day and realize that it was the same place we had left just that morning. We woke up twelve sleepy children and said our goodbyes and our first year of DREAM was over. On the way back to St. Michael’s all the mentors talked about the trip and how amazing it had been for all of us. We were proud of not only the children, but ourselves for pulling together such a fantastic trip and we knew that it was only the beginning of something wonderful!
Mentoring story Will and Stan: When you find a kid like Stanislav, you consider yourself lucky. Stan is the most entertaining, smart, and well-behaved eight year old I have ever met. If he isn’t jumping around climbing trees or getting his feet wet in a near-by stream, he is parking himself right by my side and mimicking my every move. Not every mentor has a mini-me right next to them, and for this reason I consider myself lucky. At the Lake George trip Stan and I had a great time. We were partners in all of the games, hung out by the camp fire, and caused a ruckus in the cabin, but the best memory of the two of us is something less. This memory came from when we were walking to one of the crazy events that we had planned for the weekend, and is a lot less exciting than one would expect. The memory is just a walk; a walk with small conversation about school, superheroes, and sports, but a walk and a conversation which I feel I will never forget. During this walk I finally felt as though I had made a difference in someone’s life, and this feeling of making a difference made this walk, the trip, and my whole DREAM experience that much better, because now I realize what DREAM is about, and I am psyched that I am continuing the tradition and changing lives, one kid at a time.
Local Programs: Norwich & Green Acres Program Facts Location:
Year’s Co-Chairs... Fall:
Family profile Sheila Rogers and her two children Tiffany and Alison have lived at Green Acers for the past four years. Both girls were involved in DREAM when Lindsey was the summer intern there this past summer and Alison has continued on in the Friday program and is now matched with a mentor. Sheila says that DREAM has been great for Ali, “she was becoming attached to mommy and now she is going over to friends houses and has other things she is interested in doing… She loves the program. On Fridays when she comes home [from school] she asks if there is DREAM.” DREAM at Green Acres started just this past summer but already Sheila has noticed the positive affect it is having on the community. She says that kids get along more and fight less because of DREAM and that the different cultures get along better. The family loves to swim and hike and be out doors as much as possible. Sheila was a camp councilor when she was younger and is looking forward to helping out with DREAM’s summer camp.
By Norwich DREAM (from ‘03 Fall)
Last summer, Lindsey Davis, a University of Vermont student, introduced the Green Acres community to DREAM. She lived onsite as a Summer Intern and ran all sorts of wacky and wild activities, including camping trips, BBQs, and a water carnival, to name a few. Since then, an incredible group of feisty Norwich University students have kicked off the full DREAM program with a core group of eight children and eight mentors. Tara Doherty, Kristin LaVallie, Gary Ginsburg, John Ryder, Cassie Washburn, Heather Champagne, Jen Messenger, and Jenn Griggs are the Norwich students in charge of the program. They recently had their first retreat, which was filled with ideas of skiing, fundraising, scavenger hunts, bingo, bowling, karaoke, and scrap-booking; and, they have decided to end their first semester with the children with a road trip to Boston! The mentors are starting to meet the parents too, and are becoming more involved in the community through the Tenant’s Association. They are also figuring out one-on-one partnerships
– relationships that will eventually make up the heart of DREAM at Green Acres. Needless to say, this new program is off to a rocking start!
The new Norwich crew is excited to get the program going
Summertime Stories from the kids... By Katrina, 13-year-old DREAMer
Since I have been in DREAM I have had so much fun! I am glad I am in DREAM and you should also get involved in DREAM. Before she graduated, my mentor was Julia Geier and we did a lot together. She was a senior at UVM college and me and her did one-on-one time and we hang out every Friday at DREAM and sometimes on our own. She was nice and so were the other mentors. This summer a group of kids from 11-15 from DREAM were in a program called High Adventure. We raised money to go on an adventure to wherever we can afford and last year we had 14 kids and 5 mentors all on High Adventure and we all raised money by dinners, selling DREAM things and bottle drives, and we finally raised enough money so we went out West for two weeks and everyone enjoyed it and wants to go back! For DREAM’s other summer programs we had BBQs and sometimes movies, and more like gardening and more. It is fun and interesting and a good experience. I hope you can get involved with DREAM sometime. I bet you will really like it!
The summer program is quite different from the regular program that runs during the academic year. Most mentors head out for a few months of adventures and jobs elsewhere, and all the kids are free to roam with no school in session. To better tackle this void, DREAM kicked off its Summer Intern program for the first time ever in 2003. A full-time intern was hired to work — and in some cases, live — at each of the communities we serve. They helped organize trips and activities (like community gardens or arts and crafts) for the kids during the mentors’ absence, as well as coordinated with other agencies to provide such things as the federally-funded summer lunch program. And at the end of the summer, a huge bash was organized for kids from each community to come together and spend a day united under DREAM for fun and games and to meet new friends. In addition to on-site programs run by the interns, two further-reaching trips programs sent children out into the wilds of America... High Adventure: Dating back to 2001, these two-week trips are open to children aged 11 and older. Trips have gone to California, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. Involving much more than the actual trip, planning begins during the preceding
fall. Efforts from all DREAM stakeholders, including mentors, children, parents, local businesses, and the DREAM Central Office, ensure the success of the trips. A critical focus of High Adventure is an effort to promote ownership among the group members, especially by empowering the participating children to choose the destination and charging them with the responsibility of fundraising to cover the cost of the trip. Tripscape: DREAM's summer adventure program for children around ten-years-old, who are old enough to head out into the wilderness for a few days of fun and exploration, but not quite yet ready to head West for two weeks on a High Adventure trip. These action-packed trips, whose names are derived from “Trips” and “Escape,” head out of each Local Program for five days to venture into the nearby mountains of New England. The campers sleep in tents and cabins, explore ponds, mountains, and forests, meet new people, and learn how to survive in the great outdoors. And, the newest addition to our summer offerings is going to be a full-blown residential camp! In 2003 the groundwork was framed to move this project forward, as a few parcels of land were explored and some civil engineering tests were done to assess their viability. All signs were pointing to positive outcomes as 2003 drew to a close.
Summertime: Interns By Lindsey Davis, UVM (from ‘03 Summer at Green Acres)
Imagine moving into a new community in a town where you know nobody. You have a room in the upstairs of the community center that functions as a homework room, movie room, counseling center, office, meeting place, bedroom, kitchen, and a place where you can be found. Always. Welcome to apartment #34 at Green Acres, a community in Barre, Vermont and the newest community in the DREAM family. "Just go do your thing" was pretty much the job description I was given and I can honestly say I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I took up residency in the community with the assumption Lindsey, surrounded by DREAMers that being a constant in the children’s lives would add a greater dimension to the DREAM
By Elizabeth Rosen, UVM (from ‘03 summer at Elm Street)
It is hard to believe that just a few months ago my role as co-chair for UVM DREAM ended and I began coordinating summer programs for the children and families living in the Rivers Edge Community on Elm Street. The transition from working with the UVM students and the children to just the children was an experience to remember. In the beginning it was a challenge to plan and execute activities and events without the amazing support of the mentors, but using the resources I had, some wonderful parents, the central office, and of course the lingering students, DREAM had a successful summer. Some of the adventures we were able to have this summer were touring the Ben & Jerry’s Factory with some Barre DREAMers, attending a Vermont Expos baseball game, being amazed at a David Copperfield show, passing out flowers on Church St. to express random acts of kindness, and sleeping down in Barre with other DREAM Programs having a killer bon fire and water slide. In addition to these adventures, there were weekly happenings in the community. My favorite day was always Wednesday. Each Wednesday six different kids and I would
internship. I was welcomed into the community by the kids and was presented with new artwork to hang on my walls and tape to the refrigerator. With encouragement from the parents and the housing authority, I began networking immediately making connections in the main part of the city. Within the first few weeks I had compiled a long list of businesses willing to help out. I also became used to being woken up by my 6 year old next door neighbor pounding on my door at 8 in the morning and lecturing me about sleeping too late and the older kids in the community wandering in at around 10:30pm to discuss anything that might be on their mind. Over the course of the summer an amount of routine was established with the kids. Trips to the pool, movie nights, evenings where we would cook and eat dinner together, weekly updates and calendars, overnights and field trips to Burlington or Boston and everywhere in between. We set up a monster slip n' slide to keep cool, dodged skunks in the late-night hours, and hosted the end of summer DREAM bash. The kids got involved, their parents were always available to help out, and the nearby businesses could not have been more generous or helpful for the program. With 3 kids helping to put on a great presentation to the Barre Housing Authority, DREAM has secured a grant for the upcoming year, is on its way, and the kids could not be more psyched about it!
relax in the family center while cooking up something special for the potluck; this was a wonderful time to really get to know some of the children. We would also spend a large portion of the day playing games; some of the favorites were ghost in the graveyard, evolution, and salmon, bear, mosquito. Then we would all gather behind the community center and share good food, a wonderful time for all the families to get together, laugh, and express there thoughts. The night would end with a movie shown on a large projector. My experiences this summer continued to show me how amazing DREAM is and how the efforts and enthusiasm from everyone involved make the Elizabeth & Kristen program what it is. I have watched the families and children at Elm Street grow so much over the past year, and I look forward to seeing what will come to everyone in the future. Good luck this fall and have fun. 17
Summertime: Interns By Andrea Smolen, St. Michael’s (from ‘03 at Franklin Sq.)
I would love to start this article by telling you how wonderfully organized this summer was, but then I think you’d be on to me. If I told you that the summer was a bunch of creative ideas (sometimes on the spot) mixed into a program running five days a week all resulting in complete and utter chaos — but ultimately proving Andrea hanging out with to be wonderful and Dragana and Stanislav exciting — then we would really be getting somewhere. My summer at Franklin Square started one fateful day in mid-June. I drove up to Franklin Square, like I had done so many times before, but this day was different. In my hands I held a print-out of a complete and organized schedule, starting from the moment I got there until the moment I left. Every minute was present and accounted for, and I thought to myself, "ha, what a piece of cake this will be!" Little did I know what the coming days and weeks would hold for me. I don't think I followed the schedule once that day, except for time from 11:30 – 12:00 that read, "LUNCH." This summer I learned a lot about kids. I learned that schedules are non-existent, and if you make one, it's guaranteed not to be followed. I learned that kids, no matter what, shouldn't run in the community center. I learned that a little candy
incentive never hurt anyone. I learned that I can make a difference. My internship at Franklin Square, like all places I’m sure, had its ups and downs, its in and outs, good days and bad days. The wonderful thing about an experience like mine, when you reflect on it, is that all you can remember are the good times. Take the time, for example, when Sinaan was upset that he couldn’t go off-site because his parents weren't home during the day to sign permission slips. I saw him one day as I was leaving to bring some kids to the beach, he looked very upset and I asked him what was bothering him, which was obviously the fact that he couldn’t go. I told him about I very special trip we were taking the next day to the Montshire Museum. I asked him if he wanted to go and he told me he couldn’t because of his little brother Elvis, who was only three. I told him that Elvis could come too, all he had to do was get his dad to sign the permission slip that night when he got home from work. His face instantly lit up with a big smile and the next day he was the first one at DREAM, complete with a signed permission slip. It’s things like that, things that really let you know you are making a difference in a kids life, that made this job worthwhile. As I look back on it all now, I couldn’t have asked for a better learning experience. I really felt connected and a part of every child in DREAM this summer, through my consistent presence. They knew I would drive up every morning and hang out with them all day. We did arts and crafts, went to the beach, played games, Tie-Dyed, hiked, watched movies, made dinner and sometimes when we couldn’t find anything to do we just talked, listened to music and had a great time. When someone was upset or happy or worried they would come to me and together we got through it. If I could go back I wouldn’t change a thing, and years from now when I think about it I’ll smile to myself and remember the good times we had.
By Christie Ma, Dartmouth (from ‘03 at Templeton/Hollow Dr.)
This summer, I completed a very demanding but fulfilling ten weeks at Templeton Court. I have always loved being with kids. Let me share a few moments that I will always carry with me. On a particularly dreary day, I walked outside and was feeling quite helpless. I heard laughter coming from the left so I turned my head to see what was going on. There, between the fence and two parked cars, I found three little girls having the time of their lives playing in the mud puddle that formed from a recent rainstorm. I was hopeful, knowing that children can create joy out of what seemed like very little. In the beginning of the summer, there was a teen who tried to pull out a tree to impress his friends. He managed to get it loose but could not pull it out of the ground completely. I was afraid the loose tree would hurt someone so I asked the maintenance man to cut it down. In the process, the teens blamed me for "ratting" their friend out and the teen definitely 18
Christie and Sarah at the beach
blacklisted me for a while. I followed the teen around that afternoon trying to get him to talk to me, or to at least yell at me. I finally ended up offering to do his dishes as an apology. Despite his resolve to hate me, I definitely saw surprise in his eyes from my offer. For the rest of the summer, I watched him struggle to find reasons to dislike me. I always set high expectations and hold kids to them. At the end of the summer, I asked if he would keep in touch with me. I was elated when he answered "yes." His mom tells me that he would not have said it unless he meant it.
With dreams, there is hope and room for change.
Summertime: High Adventure (UVM) Trip preparation... By Sam Fitz, UVM (from ‘03 Spring)
UVM High Adventure is in the final stages of planning as departure for Seattle approaches. Fundraising is all but wrappedup, and we exceeded our goal! Mentors, parents and kids all put in some serious elbow grease to reach our fundraising goals. Countless bottle drives, brunches and lunches have left us over budget and it's time to spend some money. We had the chance to give our group and our camping equipment a test run last weekend at Kingsland State Park and it was a slippery, soggy adventure. Spirits were high, despite the
rain. We played several team building games, learned how to set up tents and clean dishes by lantern light. A few brave souls jumped into a frigid Lake Champlain and we all enjoyed some fine camp cuisine (topped off with s'mores on our second night). All gear is in working order and, once we scrape off the mud, will be ready to head west. The daily itinerary is coming together and some of the trip highlights will include kayaking outside of Seattle, hiking through Olympic National Park, clamming on the coast of Oregon, a trip to the Redwoods, a SF Giants baseball game and much more. Westward ho!
Elm Street families gather to say farewell
Hiking in Olympic National Park Teamwork on Stinson Beach
Clamming on the Oregon Coast
Kayaking in Lake Washington Crew at the Experience Music Project
...After the trip! By Kristi Kushmerek, UVM (from ‘03 Summer)
The kids from Elm Street really saw first hand how far hard work and dedication can get you — everyone in the community from parents, to kids, to mentors, pulled together to plan and fundraise for this — when they participated in the first High Adventure trip in the history of UVM DREAM this summer. The goal of this trip was to give the kids numerous opportunities that they might not have otherwise. We had the chance to play instruments as loud as we wanted in the
“Experience Music Project” museum in Seattle, go Kayaking in Lake Washington, play in tide pools at Hole in the Wall Beach at Olympic National Park, go clamming on the Oregon Coast and do some sand sledding down the dunes there, camp at Red Woods, get marooned on Alcatraz, and, and check out a Giants game in San Francisco… among many, many other things! Both the Mentors and kids grew a lot individually, and also as a group. We faced many challenges, met them, and worked our way through them together. And most importantly, we walked away with memories that we’ll never forget. 19
Summertime: High Adventure (Dartmouth) Trip preparation... By Nicole Lobkowicz, Dartmouth (from ‘03 Spring)
The Dartmouth DREAM High Adventure trip to California is well underway. We have made tremendous progress this Spring; the kids have taken on a huge amount of responsibility. They have elected Wayne Miller as Trip Leader, and Courtney Salls as Trip Historian. So far Wayne has organized meetings and helped with itinerary research. Courtney has documented activities and had a fun time with cameras! Additionally, Chris Hicks is acting as a Junior Mentor, and
BBQ with the families and trip leaders
helped to plan a spaghetti dinner for the parents. The kids cooked and cleaned, and worked together very well. The team work was very impressive (and so was the garlic bread)! In preparation for the trip we have been holding group meetings, going on group hikes, and continuing to fundraise. Our most recent event was the Chili Cook-off; there were bands, prizes, and tons of yummy chili. The kids and their parents worked really hard and we were met by tremendous support of the community. Thank you to everyone. High Adventure, here we come!
Checkin’ out Sequoia National Park
Both DREAMs met up at Stinson Beach
With Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland Entering Hearst Castle
Mentors at Yosemite
...after the Trip! By Chad Butt, Dartmouth (from ‘03 Summer)
Dartmouth/Templeton High Adventure was a huge success! As a group of eleven we traveled all over California in two minivans for two weeks. We couldn’t have asked for better weather; it was sunny and warm almost everyday. After a tiring first day of travel (a ten-hour flight, including stops in three different cities before getting into San Jose, and then a 4 hour drive to our camp site outside Yosemite) the trip was under way. We spent a day in Yosemite and another in Sequoia National Park, before arriving in L.A. on the 4th day. Our time in L.A. was packed with activities. In the three days we spent there we went to the Warner Brothers studio, Hollywood, and Disney Land. After our stint in L.A. we started our journey up the coast to San Francisco. We spent a night in Ventura, just outside L.A., were we got to go to our first beach. The water was a little cold to say the least, but we braved the 20
cold Pacific Ocean, though some longer than others. We camped out the next night at Morro Strand beach and the day after that in Santa Cruz. On our tenth day we drove through San Francisco and camped thirty minutes outside of the city. We spent 2 nights there, while we went into San Fran for 4th of July fireworks and to Muir Woods. A big highlight of the trip was meeting up with the UVM/Elm Street High Adventure at a beach after visiting Muir Woods. We spent the remainder of the trip with one another camping in San Francisco and staying at a Boys and Girls Club, while doing such things as going to China Town, riding trolley cars, touring Alcatraz, taking in a Giants game, and helping out at the under staffed Boys and Girls Club. The trip flew by and before we knew it was time to go home. The general sentiment of the kids was put well by Barbra, "I just wish the trip was longer." Fourteen days later and 1,500 miles traveled in minivans it was time to return home.
Summertime: Tripscape By Paul Biggs, Central Office (from ‘03 Summer)
Christie Ma (summer intern), Paul Biggs (staff), and five children from Templeton and Hollow Drive went exploring in the White Mountains for 4 days. The first day was mostly uneventful, as we packed our gear and rounded up the troops. We gathered at the Hollow Drive community center that evening to go over rules, set the schedule, and bond over dinner and story-time, before heading to bed to rest for the adventure ahead. The second day we rose early, put our gear in the car, and drove for about two hours from Hollow Drive to the north end of the White Mountain range. The cabin we had rented turned out to be pretty posh, with bunk beds, running water, and even a refrigerator! It was such a nice day that we headed over to the neighboring Randolf Wildlife Refuge where there was a beautiful pond for swimming, as well as a play- ground, frog pond, and wild blueberry patches galore. After a long day, we came back and cooked dinner over the campfire. The third day we awoke to rain. Not too fun at first glance, but we decided to brave the elements. We headed out to the Cog Railway station at the foot of Mt. Washington, where we checked out the museum there and watched the train come through a few times. Then we drove through some rugged
By Jon Potter, Central Office (from ‘03 Summer)
Andrea Smolen (summer intern), Jon Potter (staff), and 8 children from Franklin Square headed out to Taylor Lodge on Mt. Mansfield for a few days of R&R in the great outdoors. We started it all off with a family BBQ at North Beach, and The crew at Taylor Lodge then spent some time laying down the rules during orientation night. The second day we rose early, packed the cars, and drove for about an hour from Franklin Square to the other side of Mount Mansfield. We parked the cars, threw our packs on our shoulders, and hiked a tough mile and a half to Taylor Lodge. It
terrain at the Conway Notch and headed back to the cabin for some indoor fun and a campfire when the rain died down. Our last day started with a cloudless sky and a late start After a leisurely breakfast, we jumped in the car and headed over to the Mt. Washington auto road. The scary 8 mile ascent along cliffs and up into the clouds was very exciting. At the summit we hung out and had some lunch, then came back Up at the Mt. Washington summit down to do some more exploring (at a reasonable altitude) of some nearby play-grounds and the stream behind our house. Then we wrapped up the day with a final campfire and jumped into bed... slightly sad that we had to drive home the next morning.
was a rugged hike, but everyone did a great job! After reaching the lodge, we learned about a set of caves nearby that we took the afternoon to explore. We had burritos for dinner, and Andrea read everyone a story as we went to bed after a long day of adventures. We started off the third day with a big plate of pancakes. We then hiked down the trail with our towels and bathing suits to a natural water slide a little over a mile away. We splashed around in the water, dammed up the stream, slid down the slide, climbed giant boulders, and explore a fantastic cave where we uncovered vast stores of quartz! By the time we got home to make our pizza bagels, we were all wet and tired. After dinner, the kids discovered the joys (and pain) of Tabasco sauce, we all made S’mores, and we went to bed with more poems read by Andrea. On our fourth day, we didn’t take very many pictures. It was a rainy, gray day, but we did manage to get back down to the water slides before the rain set in. We were joined by a group of eight college students from Montreal, and we spent the rest of the day playing cards and other games inside. We made macaroni and cheese and fell quickly to sleep before waking up and hiking out early the next morning.
Summertime: Tripscape By Macon Phillips, Central Office (from ‘03 Summer)
It was a late evening in July when Lindsey and I stared at the foreboding forecast that predicted rain for the entire duration of out upcoming Tripscape. Just as we had finished preparing the last of our equipment, food, kids, and packing lists, we heard the Weatherman issue the flash flood warning. People were madly loading a male and female from each species of the animal kingdom onto their community Ark. Bucking the trend, the two of us rounded up 5 kids and loaded them into the community center. I grabbed my dog, Sasquatch, and we set off early the next morning, ignoring the drizzle. It rained once… for five minutes. Some of the kids blinked and didn’t even see it. Oh the fun we had at Wilgus State Park! Just south of Windsor, our campground overlooked the Connecticut River. Every morning before breakfast, we all went for a swim and got the only pick-me-up stronger than coffee, cold river water! Dusty, Elez, and Amber could barely conceal their gills as they swam to New Hampshire and back, while Jayla and Justine cheered them along. Sasquatch even joined them for the interstate crossing! In the afternoons we went hiking, climbing 425 feet to the
By Mike Foote, Central Office (from ‘03 Summer)
In late July, Daniella Hirschfeld and Mike Foote led five children from Armory Square in Windsor on a 3 day expedition to Little Rock Pond along the southern portion of the Long Trail. Hailed as one of the most beautiful places in Vermont, the group had an incredible time Rest break on the trail swimming, hiking, exploring, catching salamanders, building fires, and playing Mafioso and Ghost in the Graveyard.
top of a hill across the road one day, then hiking around the summit of Mt. Ascutney (5000 feet) the next. At the top, there was a platform for hang-gliders. Because there weren’t any flights taking off when we were there, we got to each lunch with out legs dangling over the world. From that vantage we could see for miles… and there w asn’ t a cloud in the Celebrating at the top of Mt. Ascutney sky! The trip was great and all you alums can sleep well knowing that Mafia was alive and well. Even Jesse Foote’s frightening schemes were soundly defeated by the crafty counter-plots of the kids. Eat that, Weatherman!
On day one, the crew hiked 2.5 miles in to the Little Rock Pond tenting area. Crawling the last half mile, they happily set up camp and cooked dinner, taking an early evening dip in the cool pond. Will, the caretaker at the Pond, introduced himself and talked to everyone about low-impact camping, and how to take care of the plants and animals. At night, everyone practiced building campfires and ended the evening with s’mores. The second day was filled with swimming and cliff jumping. Michael David, Michael David, Brittany, and Will hiked up the trail and shouted from a mountaintop vista down to Daniella, Cory, Casey, and Amanda. That day, Daniella braved swimming across the pond with the girls at least 5,178 times. On the third day, partners in crime, Michael David Moodie and Michael David Foote (M n’ M) woke up early and hiked around the pond, catching snakes and picking wild berries. Cory, Casey, and Daniella flew up the Green Mountain Trail today to take their turn at being kings of the world. Brittany and Amanda Hogge decided to take the plunge off the rock ledges and impressed everyone by doing different crazy maneuvers.
Summertime: Camp DREAM By Jesse Foote, Central Office
In 2002, DREAM staff took a critical look at the program we offer and decided that an addition was needed. Many of our college mentors are out of town during the summer at the same time that our children are out of school and spending more hours on their own. Summer high adventure trips and summer camping trips have been amazing, but we wanted more! DREAM staff was also searching for a way to bring local programs together, and by the end of 2002 a grand vision was born: to create our very own summer camp and mentor facility! 2003 was a year of enthusiastic and dedicated Mike breaking a trail in the snow work towards this goal, and much progress was made. In the spring a search for land was begun. After many properties were considered, a beautiful property in Benson, Vermont was chosen and a purchase and sales agreement was signed. However, in the process of testing this property a number of problems were found – primarily, that there was no soil on the property that would be capable of supporting a septic system for the camp. By late summer 2003, DREAM had cancelled its contract on the Benson property and was ready to begin a new search for land. In September, Jesse Foote was hired as DREAM’s Camp Director. Jesse’s first job was to find land for the camp. He spent September and November joining the leaf peepers in driving all over the state in search of the perfect spot. We wanted a property big enough to suit our needs; we wanted frontage on a lake suitable for swimming and boating; and we needed a price tag that we could afford. By the middle of November, we found just that. The small town of Fletcher, Vermont sits in the foothills of Mount Mansfield, roughly 30 miles northeast of Burlington. In Fletcher, Metcalf Pond (a beautiful lake ½ mile long by ¼ mile wide) is nestled between two smaller mountains, Wintergreen and Gilson. The property we found is 50 acres of undeveloped woods on the northeast side of Metcalf Pond. The lot has 625 feet of shoreline, and an additional two-thirds interest in an abutting three acre The first camper! common-ground with 825 feet of shoreline. This combined 1,450 feet of shoreline covers a large portion of the undeveloped east side of the pond. In addition to the lake, the
property has three year-round streams, many seasonal streams, at least one vernal pool, multiple large rock outcroppings, rolling hills, and a variety of ecosystems that will offer fabulous o p p o r tu n it i e s for environmental education. In short, it’s drop dead gorgeous and ideal for a camp! DREAM signed a Jesse exploring the forest purchase and sales contract on the property in November, and quickly began investigating to make sure it would suit our needs. Craig Heindel, a respected soil scientist and Dartmouth alum, performed a pro-bono soil test and found a spot capable of supporting our septic system. One of the biggest potential pitfalls was passed! We consulted with the Fletcher Development Review Board and found that while we will need a zoning permit, the camp will fit within the list of conditional uses. We also talked with our immediate neighbors, and once more met with success. One neighbor lives on their property year-round and thinks the camp is a great idea. Another neighbor owns an 800 acre wood lot behind us and has said he will allow our campers to hike and explore on his land. Looking out over Metcalf Pond A number challenges still exist, but we are confident that none will stand in the way. State and local permits are required; many plans must be made; and a significant amount of money will be raised. Commitments are already pouring in. The Burlington Saturn dealership donated 10 mountain bikes for our program, Doug Viehmann and Ann Vivian of GVV architects have agreed to design our site plan pro-bono, AmeriCorps*NCCC has committed to providing a crew of 10-15 people to help build camp facilities, and numerous DREAM supporters have pledged financial donations. By summer 2004 we plan to bring small groups of children on camping trips to the property to enjoy the waterfront, get to know the land, and help us build trails and campsites. By the end of the summer we will have begun design work on the dining hall, and by the end of 2004 or the beginning of the following spring we plan to break ground. The camp will grow steadily until we are able to offer extraordinary summer experiences to all of the children in our program. Children and mentors from all of DREAM’s local programs will gather at the camp for retreats and events. With the support of DREAM’s many friends, a new home for our program is being born. 23
Alumni Organization: News & Updates By Paul Biggs, Central Office
The Alumni Organization's overarching goal is to help everyone keep in touch with the current programs and other alumni after graduation, and to collaborate on how to keep giving back to DREAM. An alumni leadership council (president, treasurer, committee chairs, etc.) runs the Alumni Organization independently of DREAM’s Central Office, with regional and class representatives helping lead the way. The Alumni Organization’s committees are what drive the major alumni initiatives forward. Some are permanent, while others are ad-hoc -- created on the fly when someone has a good idea and needs to rally some support to make it a reality. Most communication is facilitated by conference calls, email lists, and on-line chats with a few in person meetings. Two committees were active in 2003, the first full year of the Alumni Organization’s operations.
Alumni Fund Committee: This committee administers the Alumni Fund, which is created through the generous donations of alumni and honorary alumni. It also runs the Alumni Annual Appeal fundraiser in conjunction with the Central Office. A major portion of the money goes towards building an endowment, with another percent set aside for distribution through committee vote to fund special projects of the Local Programs and Central Office. For example, $600 was granted to the Templeton/Hollow Drive Younger program to help motivate them and make their awesome culminating experience in Boston financially possible. Reunion Committee: This committee works on planning local events for the Alumni Organization. For example, Ed Bialas (D’01) and Lauren Emerson (D”01) put together a fundraiser in New York, where alumni gathered one night at a local bar with a DJ and open bar to meet up with old friends and hang out in the name of DREAM. It was a lot of fun! And, another similar event is in the works in Boston.
Alumni Org Facts President:
Jesse Foote (D’01)
Drew Sheriff (D’01)
Regional Representatives... Boston: Erica Mintzer (D’02) New York:
Ed Bialas (D’01)
Lauren Emerson (D’01)
Alumni Org Numbers Total Alumni:
Honorary: 64* UVM...
Southern/DC: Sean Alpert (D’01)
Rhea Powell (D’01)
Marisa Jupiter (D’01)
Kristin Romberg (D’01)
Class Representatives… Dartmouth 2001:
Laura Burt & Sarah Siegel
* Honorary Alumni are those who supported the program and shared in the fun. Though they did not participate full-time as individual mentors, they were nominated by their classmates to be a part of the Alumni Organization.
More alumni information is available at: www.dreamprogram.org/alumni/
Central Office: News & Updates By Paul Biggs, Central Office (from ‘03 Spring)
DREAM’s been cooking up some big technology endeavors these days -- and we're not just talking about the whole Central Office ditching work to see the opening day matinee of the Matrix Reloaded. First off, check out www.dreamprogram.org because it's been totally revamped. We even had an launch party at the Waiting Room (lounge and restaurant) in Burlington, and got 10% of the night's proceeds! There is still a lot A techie in the making of work to be done on the site, but it should give you a good sense of things to come. This
summer we are going to build an extensive resource section for mentors, kids, and parents -- so when everything gets going full swing again in the Fall, this should help fire things up. We're also working on setting up on-site computer labs (starting with a few donated iMacs and PowerMacs), where the kids can do research and homework, play educational games, and check email from mentors. These will likely be coordinated with study centers where kids can come and get help with homework. And last, but not least, the heart and soul of our information — the database — is getting more and more powerful by the minute as we add features to it. One of the biggest tasks any non-profit faces is fundraising, and proper use of this tool can certainly help. We are also evaluating a full overhaul to a new system. Anyway, keep an eye on the website for news and updates for not only technology projects, but DREAM news in general.
DREAM gets a Central Office
“Village Mentoring” unveiled
In March, DREAM consolidated offices so that the entire staff is now in one office at the Elm Street Apartments, provided by the Winooski Housing Authority for a token fee. It has brought our team even closer together, and has made it easier to share thoughts and build on each other’s ideas. Learn more at:
At the Mentors Make a Difference Conference in May, DREAM announced its Village Mentoring™ model with a presentation to other mentoring program coordinators by Mike and Brooke. Our unique program blends the best practices of one-on-one mentoring with those of group mentoring. Learn more at:
By Brooke Lierman, Central Office (from ‘03 Spring)
The Vermont Mentoring Partnership organized the 5th Annual Mentors Make a Difference Conference on May 6 in Burlington. DREAM had quite a presence at the event – and it wasn’t just because we were all wearing our DREAM t-shirts! The highlight was having Governor Jim Douglas present all of us with the “Outstanding Mentoring Program” award for 2003! Awarded by the Vermont Mentoring Partnership, it seeks to acknowledge the incredible work of one organization each year that has made a p o s i t i v e difference in the lives of Vermont’s Office staff receiving award from Gov. Douglas children. We
accepted the award on behalf of all of YOU – our mentors, children, supporters! Without all your hard work and support, we would not be able to keep changing lives through DREAMing… So much goes on every month – even every week – here at DREAM, it’s important to stop and take the time to recognize all the wonderful work that our mentors do every day and every Friday. Though awards aren’t necessary to know that what we are doing is important, it is nonetheless exciting to see Shaking the Governor’s hand that other people recognize how far we are coming too…
Central Office: Office Staff Farewells By Macon Phillips, Central Office (from ‘03 Summer)
Never before has my life been affected so profoundly by the company I kept than during my role as the Summer Programs Director for DREAM. Moving on to future work Checking out the view from atop a fire tower in the Vermont area, I will take with me some important lessons, namely to... Dream big: I am proud of the accomplishments we claimed over the last year. This newsletter describes those and some even bigger ones budding on the horizon. Believe me, for every article, one could write about a project that didn’t work out, but that is the essence of DREAM. Everyone has the confidence to throw up the crazy ideas and try to fill in the gap between fantasy and reality. The trick is getting the children we serve to
By Brooke Lierman, Central Office (from ‘03 Summer)
I am living in Madison, Wisconsin right now, working for presidential hopeful Howard Dean. I’ve met hundreds of people in the past week, and everyone asks where I’ve come from. “Burlington” is my usual answer – which leads them to ask how working in Dean’s Headquarters was, assuming that I worked there. “Actually,” I answer, “I was working for a non-profit called DREAM. We started and supported mentoring programs between college students and children in housing developments.” Their initial look of confusion that I was not working at Headquarters vanishes as soon as I start talking about DREAM. And with good reason: working at DREAM was an unforgettable experience, and one that will always ground me. I arrived in Burlington about nine months ago. I had just come from Minnesota and was reeling from the deaths of a number of close friends, as well as the loss of a close election. My first night I attended UVM-DREAM’s semi-formal and for the first time in a month, I managed to forget my sadness. Running around chasing kids, doing the limbo, and learning their names was a good introduction to my next nine months! Working out of Jon’s apartment and figuring out my job as the new Development Director was challenging – but also really fun. Pulling together my first grant application was a good lesson in editing, and the first newsletter was a practice in patience. I can’t really believe that I actually finished the Annual Report. I think we were all proud and surprised at how well it turned out. One key element that makes DREAM such a successful organization is the element of teamwork that goes into every project. Every application I sent in, every publication, our Village Mentoring presentation, meetings – every aspect of DREAM includes everyone else. Some might think that this 26
do the very same thing. Reach everyone involved: This year’s High Adventure was a process in which every type of DREAMer participated. From a Housing Authority administrator to a 4 year-old future DREAMer, the community came together to send 2 groups of brave kids and mentors on a trip across the country. In the course of preparing for that trip, parents got to know each other, kids took on some hefty responsibilities, and yours truly found a few (more) grey hairs. Focus on the solution: That’s the secret to DREAM, from the computer screen in Jon’s grant-writing chaos to the pouting kid you run across every Friday afternoon. It was a rare thing to talk about what could have been in this office – people were far to interested in what might happen. Dwelling on any setback was about as common as an unsolicited check arriving in the mail (it happened once). When I look back on my year with DREAM, I do so with a fond heart. For a brief time, I shared my life with the craziest kids I have ever met – and that was just Jon, Mike, Brooke, Paul, Kate and Zach in the Central Office! To the rest of you, the ever-growing numbers of DREAMers across the Great Green State of Vermont, ROCK ON!
would bog down the organization. On the contrary, having one person lead an effort and then discussing and pulling in feedback from the other members of the team creates a better end-product, and a more fulfilling experience for everyone. Furthermore, DREAM’s core value of ownership is one that permeates other successful ventures that I have been a part of since DREAM – and without my experience there I would be unable to articulate how and why it is so imperative to successful operations. From nonprofits to political campaigns, ownership among participants is a core value that everyone should seek to include. And of course, the mentors and the kids are the backbone of the organization. Wow. Some of my favorite memories from Dartmouth were are from DREAM, and meeting the UVM and St. Michael’s mentors only reinforced the admiration I have for those who participate in the program. It was great to be able to have dinner with my former mentee, Barbara, and her new partner so I could see how much she’s grownup. I think that picking up the UVM kids from the airport one very late night in Manchester might have been one of my favorite nights of the entire summer! Talking baseball, standing up for being a Terp, playing catch, hanging out: this summer was easily one of my most fun. Brooke in a DREAM sandwich It was a tough decision to leave, but I know that I will always be able to see everyone. Keep DREAMing!
Central Office: New Office Staff By Jesse Foote, Central Office (from ‘03 Fall)
Somehow, everyone I know but don't keep in close contact with has been assuming that I work for DREAM (something to do with the last name, maybe?). Well I finally decided that instead of fighting this perception, I'd just go ahead and prove them right! I've been working for the last year helping another nonprofit get started, WinCycle (www.wincycle.org), a really neat group that facilitates computer reuse and recycling. But it was time for a change, and now I have shed the big dimly lit warehouse of WinCycle to start a camp for DREAM. I'm amazingly excited about the idea of DREAM having its very own camp—a place for our kids to have incredible summer
By Elana Davisdson, Central Office (from ‘03 Fall)
Since arriving at DREAM in October as an AmeriCorps VISTA, I have begun to acquaint myself with the families in our programs, the issues that confront them and the nature of the communities they live in. My position here at DREAM is one that involves working closely with DREAM families and local residents to strengthen the community and to build on the assets of its residents. We also seek to bring additional resources and opportunities to the families with whom we work. The pilot for this opportunity has started in the neighborhood where our office is based — Elm Street in Winooski, VT. I have come to know the area by talking to each of the families about what it is like to live here and how they might like to see the community develop or evolve. Many people expressed that they felt a lack of sense of community here, that kids need more to do, and that it is a challenge to address conflicts between kids with other parents. Many parents however said that DREAM had made a difference in their lives, both with kids and with parents, and everyone had something positive to say. In conjunction with coming to know Elm Street, I have begun to put together an action plan for Elana (and local children) are community development that ready to tackle new challenges! I am hoping can be guide as we expand our work into the other housing communities. Some exciting things are starting to emerge such as a neighborhood-wide newsletter that is a way to distribute pertinent information and for residents to communicate with each other. Parents are also working together to create an event for the kids during the month when there is no
adventures, for retreats to gather throughout the year, for all of us to call home. I know that many, many of you are equally excited about the camp, and I'm looking forward to a year of channeling all of this crazy energy into the creation of something wonderful. There are a lot of high expectations and a whole lot of work to be done: land to be acquired, facilities to be developed, programs to be created, fun to be had! Please let me know Jesse foolin’ around how you want to get involved.
DREAM which includes two weeks when the kids are on break from school. Other things in the works are plans for an after school study, center right here in the development, where kids can come to get help with their academics. This project will collaborate with Work Study students from UVM as well as local High School volunteers, to serve as tutors and resources for kids all the way through high school. I also hope to help the community know itself and realize its potential through collecting information on all the different skills and talents that exist here. There are a lot of things that people know how to do that could be of service to others right in their own neighborhood. If we can identify these skills and make the right connections, we can build a more prosperous and connected community both within and beyond Elm St. I am also working with on a larger scale with the city of Winooski, in which Elm Street is located. With our tutoring and study center we are working with local youth and hope to collaborate closely with teachers and other community and school programs. The center will be open, not just to the kids that are eligible for mentors with DREAM, but to all students in Winooski. I have also joined the Winooski coalition for a Safe and Peaceful Community, a group that has recently formed to understand and address issues of violence that affect Winooski residents. Being part of this group will help to address some of the issues that families have expressed about living here, such as the meanness and sometimes even physical violence experienced amongst the kids. Another really exciting project I have to talk about with families, and which we are gearing up for, is the creation of our summer camp. We hope to involve families and mentors in the planning and the actual building of our camp, and will be holding presentations for parents in the beginning of the new year (you can read more about the camp in Jesse's article). I am very excited about being part of DREAM and all the possibility in the work that I am doing. We are developing a solid plan for how to move forward the work of truly supporting families. 27
Central Office: Evaluations By Mike Foote & Cynthia Char, Central Office
DREAM is currently developing two sets of evaluation instruments to help the organization in their assessment of participants’ needs, and of the program’s impact on individual participants, families and communities. DREAM is working closely with Dr. Cynthia Char, of Char Associates in Montpelier. Dr. Char has over 25 years of experience in educational evaluation and the design of educational programs for children, adults and families. She received her Ed.D. in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has been a senior associate in research and design at Bank Street College's Center for Children and Technology in New York and at the Education Development Center (EDC) in Newton, Massachusetts. The first instrument will be a “New-DREAMer” survey that will contain a variety of questions concerning a child’s current interests, activities, and level of engagement in their school and community, sense of self-efficacy, and future aspirations. The survey will be administered to a child upon entering the
DREAM program, and will provide baseline information and a “snapshot in time” profile for each individual participant. There will also be a post-program survey, administered in late spring towards the end of the DREAM fall-spring program cycle. This questionnaire will be designed to assess DREAM’s program impact on child participants, including the areas of self efficacy and self-confidence, competence, interpersonal connections and relationships, and healthy behaviors. A core set of items will be drawn from instruments suggested by the Vermont Mentoring Partnership. Of central interest is the extent to which DREAM has encouraged a broader set of physical, social and psychological experiences in the world, an expanding view of both present opportunities and future possibilities in the world, and increased sense of self, self efficacy, and group affinity. Future instrument development will focus on the exploration of mentor and parent experiences in DREAM, as well as the impact of DREAM summer camp experiences upon participating youth.
By Jon Potter, Central Office
At the end of each school year, DREAM collects surveys from the families in the program. In 2003, 29 surveys were collected from parents in all of the program sites. The following graph includes some of the results from the survey:
2003 Parent Survey Results DREAM is having a positive effect on my children. 5
DREAM will continue to have a positive effect on my children in the future. My children are excited about their participation in DREAM. DREAM is having a positive effect on my children's attitudes toward school. DREAM meets an important need in my community.
Average Response (1 = Strongly Disagree, 5 = Strongly Agree)
DREAM is having a positive effect on the interactions between members of my community. DREAM will continue to have a positive impact on my community in the future. I am happy with the quality of DREAM's program. The DREAM mentors are positive role models for my children.
In the spring of 2003, mentors in the Elm Street DREAM program conducted their own mentor survey. The results of the survey demonstrate the mentors’ perceptions of the organization, its effectiveness, and improvements that could be made (see next page…). 28
Central Office: Evaluations 2003 Mentor Perceptions
1 In your opinion, to what In your opinion, to what How easy or difficult is it extent have you had a extent have you had a for you to apply DREAM positive influence on your positive influence on the experiences or ideas to mentee's life DREAM kids in general your academic work (or (attitudes/behavior, (as a group)? vice versa) etc.)?
To what extent are you happy with DREAM?
The survey also asked questions about the mentors’ motivation for DREAM. The results from this set of questions illustrate the mentors’ excitement for the program, and also provide an indication of the variety of DREAM-related activities in which mentors engage beyond the Friday program:
2003 Mentor Motivation
come to Friday DREAM?
4.56 4.26 4
call or write letters to your child outside of Friday time, or during breaks or vacation? go to Elm St. or visit with your child outside Friday time? go to the Mentor Retreat each semester?
go to All-Mentor meetings? join a planning committee (ex Homework Helpers, community service)?
participate in fundraising activities for DREAM or High Adventure (ex. bottle drives)?
Average Response 1 = not at all 5 = extremely
Finally, the survey provided mentors with insight into their own program. A few of the major trends that they identified include: •
A strong feeling of empowerment among mentors: we are realizing our ability to make a positive impact on the lives of DREAMers.
A desire for more one-on-one time during Friday meetings
More discipline and organization for Fridays and in general
Need for faster matching-up of new mentors with kids
More variety of DREAM activities (Fridays and otherwise) 29
Fundraising & Finances: Donor Thank You We would like to recognize all of our generous supporters for believing in the dreams of children throughout Vermont. Your interest in the DREAM Program allows us to continue to expand both the number of communities we serve and the diversity of programming and opportunities we offer.
Jesse Foote Judy Huang Dr. Ian and Bobbi Macdonald
$5,000+ Catriona and Jim Erler
Laura Munder and Charlie Mann Martha Robb Howard and Jill Sharfstein Dave and Kathie Shellenbarger
$2,500+ Vivian Buzzard Connie Lierman
Drew Sheriff Austin Wheeler Tim Wright
Andrew and Helen Biggs Alice Foote Karla and Ian Kennedy Terry Lierman Regina Olchowski Philip Cohen and Sharon Oviatt
Rebecca and James Allen Mohamed and Lynda Bakr Robert and Cindy Basdekis J. Douglas and Anne Bate Paul Biggs Susan and Earl Burt Barbara Callahan Mike Carey Lisa Christie
Nahoko Kawakyu Shuja Khan Jo and Linda Knight Keith and Susan Kuegel Elizabeth Lee Thom and Maureen Mayer Ellen and Peter Mulvihill Jeffrey and Linda Norris Bill Rankin John Reed James Rice Erica Rivinoja Joan and Barry Rogers Pam and Glenn Rosenthal Karen and Jeff Ross Michael and Sally Schnitzer Schoor Depalma
Andrew and Judith Shepard Nan and Tom Sherburne Mark and Judy Siegel Barbara and Michael Taxier Elizabeth Foote and Eric Thorgerson Andrew Trief Jeannette and Dan Twomey Wellpoint Foundation Dan and Linda Yager Mark and Melissa Zelinger
Gayle and Dan D'Aniello Woody and Emily Eckels
Louis and Kitty Freidheim
James and Linda Martin
The Austin Community Foundation
Sandra and Daniel Stoller
John and Janet Tysse
Alan and Judy Hoffman Romer and Deming Holleron Eileen and John Huston Beth Huston
$50+ Jan Backus Blodgett Sebastian Barreveld Tikhon Bernstam Margaret Connolly Alan and Jeanette Davis Brianna Dusseault Jeannie Eisberg Lauren Emerson Janis and James Ennis Paul Farnan Emily Fedman Aaron Gaines Giulia Good-Stefani
Fundraising & Finances: Donor Thank You $50+ (continuedâ€Ś)
Henry and Lillian Dusseault
Heidi and Cameron Eldred
Tom and Chris Laing
Monte and Sue Lake
Arnold and Joyce Fruman
Steve and Allegra Lubrano
Jeffrey and Dorcas McGuiness
Marian Menkel and Ira Mintzer
Bonnie and Ed Olchowski
Bruce Davidson and Linda Reimer
Ki Mae Heussner
Todd and Gina Jolson
Dr. Debra Sleight
Bob and Mary Williams
Pietra A. Knaus Nick Koshnick Dean Krishna
Charles and Dorothy Basdekis
Linda and Paul Lefebvre
George and Kathy Butterworth
Paul and Wendy Manganiello
Amy and Greg Caucutt
Dale and Marian Penny
Macon Phillips Molly Redmond 31
Fundraising & Finances: News DREAM’s 2003 Annual Appeal was a great success. Conducted from late November through the end of December, DREAM ran separate campaigns with its alumni and all other donors. Both groups had fantastic results, raising a total of over $35,000! DREAM is extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful group of supporters. The support that they show gives us the confidence to do our work every day.
lot of money in printing and mailing costs, while also saving a lot of time and effort to track down our overly mobile young alumni. The online fundraising also allowed many more alumni to get involved in the process, sending personal emails to their friends and classmates. The entire appeal was run through the existing Alumni Organization infrastructure, using class representatives and other leadership to spearhead the effort. Thank you to all of the alumni for your incredible support!
The Alumni Appeal aimed to raise funds for our Alumni Organization, which is building an endowment and provides grants each year for the various local programs and the central office. This year, the goal was to raise $6,500. When all was said and done, the group raised more than $8,600—an astounding accomplishment for such a young group of donors. One unique feature of this year’s Alumni Appeal is that it was conducted almost entirely online. Only the thank you notes were printed in hardcopy! Conducting everything online saved a
The General Appeal, which supports general operations of The DREAM Program, Inc., was conducted in a more traditional manner than the Alumni Appeal, but it was no less successful. DREAM set an ambitious goal of $20,000 (the 2002 goal had been $6,000), and incredibly has ended the campaign with close to $27,000. This result helps to put the organization on solid financial footing as it faces the challenges of the coming year. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s appeal!
By Jon Potter, Central Office
provided grants to support a summer lunch program at Franklin Square in Burlington. DREAM also received grant support from the A. D. Henderson Foundation and the Vermont Community Foundation to develop a new DREAM program in Rutland that will connect children who live in the Forest Park Apartments with students at Castleton State College. Finally, DREAM received its largest grant to date from the Compassion Capital Fund administered by the Office of Community Services in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant funding will primarily be expended in 2004 and is directed at organizational capacity-building activities such as improving DREAM’s evaluation system, streamlining DREAM’s accounting procedures, and increasing DREAM’s training capacity. Thank you to all of the organizations and agencies who helped to make our year such a success.
By Jon Potter, Central Office (from ‘03 Fall)
DREAM has been fortunate to receive a variety of grants from both public and private sources. These grants have helped tremendously in the development of new projects and in supplementing funding from donors and program fees. DREAM’s 2003 High Adventure program could not have happened without the support of the Salmon Foundation, the Byrne Foundation, and the Norwich Congregational Church. Children, parents, and mentors did an incredible job of fundraising for the two trips to the west coast, but the additional grant funding ensured that trips were financially feasible. DREAM also had support for a variety of other summer initiatives. The Vermont Children’s Trust provided DREAM with a grant to support the high adventure, summer interns, and other summer staff needs. The Chittenden Housing Corporation and the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger also both 32
THE DREAM PROGRAM, INC. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION (UNAUDITED) DECEMBER 31, 2003 ASSETS CURRENT ASSETS: Cash and cash equivalents Unrestricted contributions receivable Temporarily restricted contributions receivable Accounts receivable Employees and volunteers receivable Inventory
$ 23,761 40,237 13,400 -
Total current assets
LONG-TERM ASSETS: Property and equipment Accumulated depreciation
Total property and equipment, net
Cash restricted for college accounts Other temporarily restricted assets
Total long-term assets
LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS CURRENT LIABILITIES Current portion of long-term debt Employees and volunteers payable Accounts payable Accrued payroll Total current liabilities LONG-TERM LIABILITIES: Long-term debt minus current portion Total long-term liabilities Total liabilities NET ASSETS: Net assets, beginning of year Unrestricted net income Temporarily restricted net income Total net assets TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS See notes to financial statements.
628 628 628 38,629 16,179 91,181 145,990
THE DREAM PROGRAM, INC. STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES (UNAUDITED) YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003
REVENUES, GAINS, AND OTHER SUPPORT: Contributions Fees Investment income Sales to public Other Net assets released from restrictions: Satisfaction of program restrictions Satisfaction of equipment acquisition restrictions Expiration of time restrictions
$ 21,234 68,656 56 166 5,894
$ 129,096 0 14,048
$ 150,330 68,656 56 166 19,942
56,589 34,305 10,782
56,589 34,305 10,782
Total program services
Supporting Services: General and administrative Fundraising
Total supporting services
Total functional expenses
TOTAL INCREASE (DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS
NET ASSETS, BEGINNING OF YEAR
Total revenues FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES: Program Services: Local programs High adventure Camp DREAM
NET ASSETS, END OF YEAR
See notes to financial statements.
THE DREAM PROGRAM, INC. STATEMENT OF FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES (UNAUDITED) YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003
Local Programs FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES: Salaries and related expenses Payroll taxes and benefits Professional services Supplies Postage Travel and transportation Activities Lodging Risk management Office and occupancy Staff development Dues and subscriptions Interest and fees Depreciation Cost of goods sold Other costs TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES
See notes to financial statements.
Program Services High Camp Adventure DREAM
$ 31,960 3,125 8,023 1,473 2,107 211 8,109 370 134 1,078 -
7,299 684 8,068 767 13,504 2,096 968 266 69 585
Supporting Services General and Administrative Fundraising Total
8,000 782 1,186 71 50 692
$ 47,259 4,592 1,186 16,091 767 14,976 4,203 1,179 8,109 708 50 203 1,078 1,277
5,000 489 956 7,976 251 20 1,545 612 534 434 4 2,941 101
8,000 782 123 108 38 200
$ 13,000 1,271 956 8,099 359 58 1,545 612 534 434 4 2,941 301
$ 60,259 5,863 2,143 24,190 1,126 15,034 4,203 1,179 9,654 612 1,242 484 207 4,019 1,577
THE DREAM PROGRAM, INC. STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED) YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES: Net (decrease) increase in net assets Adjustments to reconcile net (decrease) increase in net assets to net cash (used in) provided by operating activities: Depreciation Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents as a result of a change in: Advances and other receivables Grants receivable Cash restricted for college accounts Other temporarily restricted assets Inventory Other assets Accounts payable and accrued liabilities
4,019 5,430 (40,237) 4 (50,948) 6,704 (8,479)
Net cash used in operating activities
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES Purchase of equipment Proceeds from sales of investments Purchases of investments Purchase of land
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES Proceeds from contributions restricted for: Investment in endowment Investment in plant Investment subject to annuity agreements Other financing activities: Interest and dividends restricted for reinvestment Payments of annuity obligation Payments on notes payable Payments on long-term debt
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
INCREASE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, BEGINNING OF YEAR CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, END OF YEAR
See notes to financial statements.
THE DREAM PROGRAM, INC. NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (UNAUDITED) YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003 1.
NATURE OF ORGANIZATION The DREAM Program, Inc. ("DREAM") was incorporated on November 20, 2001. With offices in Winooski, Vermont, DREAM is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the effects of poverty on children by initiating and supporting mentoring programs between residents of government subsidized housing developments in Vermont and college students with campuses in Vermont and New Hampshire. DREAM's mission is to create communities of families and college students that empower children from disadvantaged circumstances to recognize their options, make informed decisions, and achieve their dreams. DREAM is recognized as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service, which has granted DREAM 501(c)(3) status.
SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES Basis of presentation - Net assets, revenues and expenses are classified based on the existence or absence of donoror grantor-imposed restrictions. Accordingly, the net assets of DREAM and the changes therein are classified and reported as follows: •
Unrestricted net assets - net assets that are not subject to donor- or grantor-imposed restrictions.
Temporarily restricted net assets - contributions, grants, and income whose use by DREAM has been limited by donors or grantors to a specific time or purpose.
Permanently restricted net assets - net assets subject to donor-imposed stipulations that are maintained permanently by DREAM. DREAM had no permanently restricted net assets in 2003.
Cash and cash equivalents - Cash and cash equivalents consist of cash on deposit with banks. Investments - Investments in marketable equity securities with readily determinable fair values and all investments in debt securities are reported at fair value with gains and losses included in the statements of activities. Federal income tax - DREAM has been determined to be a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code") and is exempt from federal income tax on related income pursuant to Section 501(a) of the Code. Accordingly, no provision for federal income tax has been recorded in the accompanying financial statements. Contributions and grants - Contributions and grants are received from individuals, private industry, foundations, and government agencies. Contributions and grants may be designated by the donor for a specific project or given as a general contribution. All contributions and grants are considered to be available for general use unless specifically restricted by the donor. Contributions and grants, including unconditional promises to give, are recorded when made. Grants from U.S. Government agencies are recorded in the period in which the funds become receivable on a letter of credit. Contributions and grants received for services which are required to be performed in future periods are accounted for as temporarily restricted assets. Amounts received which are required by the donor to be passed on to other organizations are recorded as a liability until the transfer is made. Use of estimates - The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities in the financial statements. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
CORRECTIONS In DREAM's financial statements for year ended December 31, 2002, the following was recorded in the Statement of Financial Position: LONG-TERM ASSETS: Property and equipment Accumulated depreciation
Total property and equipment, net
These figures were in error. The following should have been recorded, with the increased assets carried throughout the financial statements: LONG-TERM ASSETS: Property and equipment Accumulated depreciation
Total property and equipment, net
This error has been corrected for the financial statements for year ended December 31, 2003. This document and attached financial statements reflect the required corrections. 4.
NOTES PAYABLE Notes payable consist of the following at December 31, 2003: EMPLOYEES PAYABLE Michael Foote Total employees payable
Employees payable were accumulated in the form of purchases of equipment and supplies for DREAM. Employees will be reimbursed for their expenses in the exact amount of their purchase, with no interest accrued. 5.
ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVABLE Compassion Capital Fund Grant Receivable
3,200 1,600 8,600
Total other accounts receivable
Total accounts receivable
Total temporarily restricted contributions receivable OTHER ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Barre Housing Authority Burlington Housing Authority Winooski Housing Authority
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES DREAM has no financial commitments or contingencies at December 31, 2003.
PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT Property and equipment consist of the following at December 31, 2003: Property Furniture, fixtures, and equipment Less accumulated depreciation Software Less accumulated depreciation
5,000 5,122 (5,122) 135 (135)
Property and equipment, net
Computers, software, and furniture were completely depreciated in 2003 and all purchases of these items were considered to be expenses. DREAM made a $5,000 non-refundable deposit on a 50-acre parcel of land in Fletcher, Vermont. This deposit will go towards the purchase price of the property. The closing date for sale of this property is set for May of 2004. 8.
REVENUES, GAINS, AND OTHER SUPPORT In the Statement of Activities, within the category "Revenues, gains, and other support," the following income was recorded: TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED CONTRIBUTIONS Private foundations Henderson Foundation (forest park start-up) Vermont Community Foundation (forest park start-up) Vermont Children's Trust Fund (summer programs) Chittenden Housing Corporation (summer lunch program) The Byrne Foundation (templeton high adventure) Total private foundations Government Compassion Capital Fund (received) Compassion Capital Fund (receivable) Total government Individuals Camp DREAM contributions High adventure contributions Total individuals Organizations Norwich Congregational Church (camping gear) Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger (summer lunch program) The Tabard (camp dream)
$ 14,680 4,129 7,750 500 10,000 $ 37,059 $
$ 47,195 $ 41,455 487 $ 41,942 $
2,000 500 400
Total temporarily restricted contributions
TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED INVESTMENT INCOME Interest on college savings contributions Total temporarily restricted investment income
OTHER TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED INCOME High adventure fundraising events Homeshow raffle for Camp DREAM Total other temporarily restricted income SATISFACTION OF PROGRAM RESTRICTIONS Satisfaction of program restrictions
$ 13,603 445 $ 14,048 $ (51,963)
Total satisfaction of program restrictions
Total temporarily restricted revenues, gains, and other support
UNRESTRICTED CONTRIBUTIONS Organizations The Waiting Room Schoor DePalma Total organizations Individuals Unrestricted donations received Unrestricted donations receivable (from 2002)
$ 39,677 (18,830)
Total unrestricted contributions
FEES, UNRESTRICTED INCOME Housing authorities Burlington Housing Authority (received) Burlington Housing Authority (receivable) Winooski Housing Authority (received) Winooski Housing Authority (receivable) Barre Housing Authority (received) Barre Housing Authority (receivable) Total housing authorities Organizations Mentoring Partnership of Orange and Windsor County
$ 20,800 1,600 25,956 8,600 7,700 3,200 $ 67,856 $
Total fees, unrestricted income
UNRESTRICTED INVESTMENT INCOME Money Market Interest
Total unrestricted investment income
SALES TO PUBLIC, UNRESTRICTED INCOME Bumper stickers Shirts
Total sales to public, unrestricted income
OTHER UNRESTRICTED INCOME Local program fundraising events Total other unrestricted income SATISFACTION OF PROGRAM RESTRICTIONS Satisfaction of program restrictions
Total satisfaction of program restrictions
Total unrestricted revenues, gains, and other support
Total revenues, gains, and other support
FUNCTIONAL EXPENSE SALARY ESTIMATES Estimates were made for the purpose of breaking salaries down into functional expense categories. The following estimates were made for 2003: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Local programs High adventure Camp dream General and administrative Fundraising
6,000 2,000 4,000 5,000 8,000
16,000 5,000 4,000
HIGH ADVENTURE COORDINATOR High adventure
Total high adventure coordinator
Total local programs
Total high adventure
Total camp dream
Total general and administrative
Total executive director PROGRAM DIRECTOR Local programs High adventure Camp dream Total program director
SUMMER INTERNS Local programs Total summer interns
AMERICORPS*VISTA MEMBERS In addition to paid staff members, DREAM is a sponsoring organization for AmeriCorps*VISTA. In 2003, DREAM held three full-time AmeriCorps*VISTA positions. The AmeriCorps*VISTA members are recruited, hired, and managed by DREAM, but their compensation is paid by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Through CNCS, AmeriCorps*VISTA members receive a living allowance, health insurance, an educational award, and other benefits. Their compensation is not included in these financial statements.
INVENTORY In the financial statements for year ended December 31, 2002, DREAM recorded $6,704.25 in inventory, in the form of bumper stickers and greeting cards. Due to a lack of sales for these items, combined with their usefulness to the organization internally, the entire inventory has been re-classified as a general administrative supply expense in these financial statements.
INTEREST AND FEES In the Statement of Functional Expenses, within the category "Interest and fees," the following expenses were recorded:
LOCAL PROGRAMS Local program bank fees
Total local programs
HIGH ADVENTURE High adventure credit card fees High adventure bank fees
Total high adventure
GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE Central office bank fees
Total general and administrative
Total interest and fees
OTHER COSTS In the Statement of Functional Expenses, within the category "Other costs," the following expenses were recorded: HIGH ADVENTURE Child repayments Miscellaneous cash expenses Total high adventure Camp DREAM Building inspection Water quality test Backhoe service Total camp dream
275 85 332
GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE Credit card credit Office desk Software
(10) 21 90
Total other costs
Total general and administrative FUNDRAISING Homeshow booth
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN DREAM offers no benefit plan to its employees beyond federally required payroll taxes and state-required worker's compensation. Benefits for AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA members are set nationally by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED NET ASSETS DREAM holds temporarily restricted net assets with a total value of $64,220.14 as of December 31, 2003. DREAM has an additional $40,236.50 in receivable temporarily restricted assets. Of the total temporarily restricted net assets, $271.94 is the result of donations by individuals who designated that their donations be used as college savings for specific children in the program. In the event that the children do not attend college by their 30th birthday, the funds will be given in the form of a scholarship to another child to be selected by committee. Committee members will be nominated by DREAM's Board of Directors. The following children have donations in their name at December 31, 2003: Dakota Salls Plus accumulated interest Nedra Keenan Plus accumulated interest Bank fee
$ 100.00 0.34 175.00 0.60 (4.00)
Assets temporarily restricted for college savings
OTHER TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED NET ASSETS Local Programs Henderson Foundation (forest park start-up) Vermont Community Foundation (forest park start-up) Total local programs High Adventure Elm Street Templeton Total high adventure
$ 11,064 $
Total other temporarily restricted net assets
Total temporarily restricted net assets (non-receivable)
DREAM has an additional $40,236.50 in receivable temporarily restricted assets. This entire amount is the receivable portion of a Compassion Capital Fund grant through the Office of Community Services within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 16.
LOCAL PROGRAMS DREAM's local programs had the following net assets as of December 31, 2003: ELM STREET LOCAL PROGRAM Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, elm street local program
212 3,500 (2,101)
TEMPLETON COURT LOCAL PROGRAM Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, templeton court local program EXTREME DREAM, TEMPLETON COURT LOCAL PROGRAM Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, extreme dream, templeton court local program ARMORY SQUARE LOCAL PROGRAM Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, armory square local program FRANKLIN SQUARE LOCAL PROGRAM Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, franklin square local program
GREEN ACRES LOCAL PROGRAM Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, green acres local program
FOREST PARK LOCAL PROGRAM Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, forest park local program
All of the local programs' revenues and expenses are accounted for in these financial statements. The volunteers who run each local program have control over the program's funds. 17.
ALUMNI ORGANIZATION DREAM's alumni organization had the following net assets as of December 31, 2003: Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, alumni organization
3,450 3,769 (600)
The Alumni Organization's revenues and expenses are accounted for in these financial statements. The alumni organization, consisting of former DREAM volunteers, has control over the allocation of these funds. 18.
FISCAL AGENT RESPONSIBILITIES DREAM serves as the fiscal agent for the Mentoring Partnership of Orange and Windsor County (MPOW), one of twelve regional mentoring networks throughout the state of Vermont. MPOW had the following net assets as of December 31, 2003: Net assets, beginning of year Revenues Expenses Net assets, end of year, mpow
MPOW's revenues and expenses are not accounted for in the attached financial statements.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
The DREAM Program, Inc. P.O. Box 361 Winooski, VT 05404 Tel: 802-655-9015 Fax: 802-654-8598 Website: www.dreamprogram.org Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org