Page 1 The DREAM Program

The Village Mentoring Organization


Poultney DREAM Quarterly Report March-May 2013 Greetings from DREAM! As the weather grew warmer this quarter, the Poultney Local Program packed in plenty of DREAMing! Green Mountain College mentors and Poultney youth took part in some exciting activities as they wrapped up another successful school year with DREAM. Here is a summary of DREAM happenings from the spring.

Highlights from the quarter include: • Mentors had a table at the Campus Life Expo, where they explained DREAM to • • •

prospective students and their families. The Poultney Local Program celebrated the end of a successful year of DREAMing with a fun and exciting party on campus. Activities included flag football, a piñata, pie eating contests, and more. One Poultney mentor was welcomed into DREAM’s Alumni Organization. DREAM youth are anxiously awaiting the start of summer, when they will take trips to Camp DREAM and participate in activities in the Poultney area with Summer Community Intern Samantha Abrahamsen.

Weekly Programming with Children: • One DREAM Wednesday was cancelled because of a half-day at the elementary school • • • • • •

which meant there was no school bus to bring the mentees to campus. Mentors and mentees spent a DREAM afternoon sledding and making wallets out of duct tape. DREAM partnered with another campus group, Slow Foods, to dye eggs using non-toxic dyes. Mentors and youth took advantage of the warmer weather by bringing DREAM outside and playing parachute games. Mentees created scrapbooks and posed for photos with their mentors in order to document their experiences in DREAM this year. Mentors and mentees held an end-of-year party on campus. There were no DREAM Wednesdays in May because the mentors were on summer vacation.

Special Events for Children and Mentors: • The Poultney Local Program celebrated the end of a successful year of DREAMing with a fun and exciting party on campus. Activities included flag football, a piñata, pie eating contests, and more!

Office: 30 Community Drive, South Burlington, VT | Mail: P.O. Box 361, Winooski, VT 05404│ (802) 338-8979 |

Twenty-five teens attended DREAM’s Teen Identity Retreat in Burlington. Teens took part in a scavenger hunt on Church Street, learned how to hula hoop, and participated in sessions on healthy relationships and finding their best selves.

Capacity Building and Fundraising: • The Poultney Local Program welcomed one new mentor to DREAM! • This year, DREAM was honored as the beneficiary of The Clothes Exchange (TCE). The

Clothes Exchange is an annual event that is dedicated to turning clothing into cash to benefit the community. TCE collects new and gently used apparel from generous retailers and then sells it at bargain prices. The event on May 3-4 raised $8000 to support DREAM. A special thank you goes to the DREAM mentors, mentees, staff, board members, and volunteers who made the event a success. As DREAM looks towards expansion, we have undertaken efforts to codify our programs. Mike Foote, Director of Strategy and Growth, is spearheading this work. This quarter the codification moved into its second stage, which is creating training and orientation materials for new offices so they can carry on the essentials of DREAM culture.

Camp: • Camp DREAM hosted three work days this spring. We were once again happy to host

volunteers from IBM through the United Way’s Days of Caring program. Volunteers cleared trails, installed new signs, built an awning over the kitchen porch, and spruced up Camp’s gardens and drainage systems.

Alumni Involvement: • This year, DREAM’s Alumni Organization welcomed 73 new members from 11 Local

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Programs across Vermont and Massachusetts. Welcoming events were hosted for each Local Program to congratulate both mentees and mentors as they graduated from high school and college. One Poultney mentor joined the Alumni Organization this spring. The Teen Identity Retreat was a success in part due to the support of DREAM’s alumni volunteers: Paul Espina, Nicole Stevenson, Caludine Nkurinziza, and Susie Silva. DREAM Alum Phil Ortego joined DREAM staff on a relay team in the 2013 Burlington Marathon on May 26. A group of DREAM alumni are running a RAGNAR relay race in West Virginia to support DREAM’s expansion efforts in Washington, D.C.

Office: • On March 7, Vermont staff members traveled to the Boston DREAM office for the annual two-day “sprinter” retreat. Discussion topics included incorporating Results Based

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Accountability, DREAM expansion to Philadelphia and Washington D.C., and redesigning DREAM’s annual mentor training event, DREAMstock. Camp DREAM welcomed back Birchwood mentor Matt Karkut as the Adventure Program Coordinator. On April 30, Vermont staff put aside their daily tasks to participate in the first annual Unbridled Innovation Day. Staff members researched topics such as youth obesity rates, DREAM’s carbon footprint, and best practices in training mentors. On May 18-19, DREAM hosted its first combined staff, Board of Directors, and Alumni Council retreat at Camp DREAM. In addition to work projects, attendees participated in discussions focused on Results Based Accountability, high school graduation rates, staff and board structure, and coordinating priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Vermont staff had a very successful Adventure Teaching Day (ATD) on May 20. ATDs are an opportunity to continue to grow, learn, and bond as an organization. The topics included how to best support mentees who are being bullied or are bullying others and codifying orientation materials for future offices. Staff then spent the afternoon at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center for an afternoon of sailing. This quarter, DREAM launched a new database. This platform will allow staff to more effectively monitor outcomes for DREAM youth, as well as track mentoring relationships and participation at office-led events. Summer hiring is wrapping up for the season with nearly all positions filled. In June, DREAM will welcome 16 summer interns in Vermont and Boston who will organize incommunity programming and 6 staff who will run summer activities at Camp DREAM. DREAM said goodbye to Boston Program Director Chad Butt. Chad has been a staple in the DREAM office for over 8 years and we wish him all the best in his new role as Executive Director of Mobius, the state-wide mentoring organization in Vermont.

Thank you for your ongoing support of DREAM. If you would like additional or more detailed information, please contact me by email or by phone. You can always look back at past reports or other programs’ reports by going to: DREAM big, Ali Siegel Program Empowerment VISTA 802.681.3982

The DREAM Program, Poultney, Quarter 3, 2012-2013  

Local Program Report