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The Village Mentoring Organization

Windsor/Union Square DREAM Quarterly Report March – May 2013 Greetings from DREAM! This quarter Union Square and the town of Windsor mentoring pairs rounded out the winter term of DREAMing. They then completed another successful spring term of mentoring. Please read below for more information about events and highlights for Windsor/Union Square mentors and youth this quarter.

Highlights from the quarter include: • •

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On Friday, March 1 mentors and mentees celebrated the end of winter term with bowling and pizza at Maple Lanes in Claremont, NH for their culminating experience. On March 29, Windsor/Union Square mentors joined their Dartmouth DREAM peers at a start of term meeting. Mentors discussed the Teen Identity Retreat, program budgets, High Adventure, and the term schedule. Mentors held a community dinner for DREAM families at the Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Windsor on April 15. The DREAM office welcomed six seniors to the Alumni Organization on May 10. On Saturday, May 25, mentoring pairs celebrated the end of spring term. Their original culminating plan of swimming at Storrs Pond was cancelled due to weather. Instead, they had an indoor barbecue, made bracelets, and watched a movie. DREAM thanks co-chairs Patrick Gould and Cody Cushing for their hard work and dedication throughout winter and spring term. Additionally, DREAM looks forward to the summer when Cody will lead weekly summer activities as a community intern.

Fridays: • • • • •

There were no regular Fridays in March as mentors took their final exams and then enjoyed spring break. Mentors met on Friday, March 29, to prepare for the spring term. They elected fundraising and culminating chairs to help organize the program during April and May. There were three regular DREAM Fridays in April. Mentoring pairs participated in oneon-one and small group activities on campus. DREAM was cancelled on April 12 due to an unexpected ice storm. On Friday, May 3, mentoring pairs participated in a reading event put on by Literacy in the Upper Valley. Literacy in the Upper Valley is a newly formed group of graduate and undergraduate students interested in increasing literacy levels of low-income youth in the Upper Valley. Mentors and youth read books together and then each mentee chose a book to bring home. The event concluded with ice cream sundaes for all. DREAM mentors and youth joined mentoring pairs from Big Brothers Big Sisters and Outdoor Leadership Experience for a Spring Fling on May 10. Activities included tie-dye, a pie throwing contest, a raffle, and a Frisbee toss.

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

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There was no DREAM on Friday, May 17 as Dartmouth students participated in their spring weekend. Mentoring pairs spent their last Friday together on May 24. Activities included basketball, a trip to the movie theatre, arts and crafts, and Harry Potter reenactment games.

Special Events for Children and Mentors: •

Twenty-five teens attended DREAM’s annual Teen Identity Retreat. This years retreat featured sessions on healthy relationships, a reflection on DREAM’s Theory of Change, and a hula-hooping tutorial led by DREAM alumna, Nicole Stevenson. Mentoring pairs participated in two culminating experiences this quarter. The winter term concluded with a trip to the bowling alley. Spring culminating consisted of an indoor barbecue and a movie as mentors and youth hid inside from torrential downpours. Windsor/Union Square mentors hosted a community dinner on April 15 for all DREAM families in their program. Several parents and their children attended.

Capacity Building and Fundraising: • • •

With support from DREAM office staff, Windsor/Union Square mentors raised $1735 for two mentees who lost their father in a tragic car accident in March. Mentors earned $150 selling burgers to students on campus. This money was used to support their spring culminating event. 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.

Mentor Training and Workshops: •

Mentors reviewed DREAM’s Boundaries and Guidelines and Dartmouth College’s mentoring code of conduct at the start of term meeting on March 29.

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.

DREAM office staff began visiting families to sign youth up for summer sessions at Camp DREAM.

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 graduate from high school and college. Six Windsor/Union Square mentors and one mentee were inducted into the Alumni Organization this spring. DREAM thanks the many former Windsor/Union Square mentors who donated to the fundraiser for a beloved family in need. 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 alumni Phil Ortego joined DREAM office staff on the 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

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two-day “sprinter” retreat. Discussion topics included incorporating Results Based 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 ever combined staff, Board of Directors, and Alumni Council retreat at Camp DREAM. In addition to camp 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. The Vermont office 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, Kate Piniewski Program Empowerment Director 781.820.4838

The DREAM Program, Windsor-Union Square, Quarter 3, 2012-2013  

Local Program Quarterly Report