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The DREAM Program, Inc. 41 Dearborn St. Boston, MA 02119 (617) 699-8408

June 1st, 2012

The Somerville Housing Authority DREAM Update 3 Quarter Report 2011-2012 Program Year (March-May) rd

During the third quarter the SHA/Tufts program added 7 new mentees and wrapped up a very successful first school year. DREAM Weekly programming: DREAM programming happens every Friday afternoon that the Tufts’ mentors are on campus and classes are in session.  3/2 (6 mentees, many other youth from the community, 14 mentors): The group held DREAM in the community to recruit more youth for the program. The mentors and youth participated in board games and arts and craft projects in the computer lab as well as playing more active games outside.  3/9 (7 mentees, many other youth from the community, 16 mentors): The new mentors, a couple of old mentors, and I held programming in the community again to continue to recruit more youth for the program. The rest of the mentors and the mentees already in DREAM had one-on-one programming time back on Tufts’ campus.  3/30 (14 mentees, 14 mentors): The group brought on seven new youth into DREAM! To welcome the new mentees into the program and get them oriented to Tufts’ campus the new mentors organized a scavenger hunt that took them all around campus. The already established mentor matches once again programmed in small groups or one-on-one for the afternoon. Before walking back to the community everyone new and old came together for a large group game.  4/6 (13 mentees, 12 mentors): The group headed back to Tufts for an all program game of kickball along with some name games to help everyone get to know one another better.  4/13 (14 mentees, 15 mentors): SHA DREAM held their first fundraiser to raise money for the end of year community celebration they were planning for April 20th. The group sold cupcakes that the youth decorated and DREAM T-shirts on campus. They had a lot of fun and brought in over $200 in profit! Culminating Experience:  4/20 (13 mentee, many more youth and families from the community, 16 mentors): To celebrate a great first year of DREAM the group held a block party at Clarendon Hill. The mentors organized numerous activities including kite flying, chalk murals, ball games, and other group favorite games like Ninja and Woosh. With the assistance of SHA we were also able to repaint one of the community’s dumpsters. The youth really enjoyed painting and are hoping to paint the remaining dumpsters this summer. After a hotdog cookout the evening came to a close and the mentors and mentees said goodbye until the school year DREAM program starts back up in the fall.

DREAM Participants:`  Mentors: There are currently nineteen mentors, two of whom were abroad this Spring Semester and will be returning in the fall.  Youth: With the addition of seven new mentees this March there are now fifteen youth in school year DREAM. Program Development:  New Mentees: With the addition of new mentors in February the group was excited to bring more mentees into the program. After flyering the community twice and running on site programming for two consecutive Fridays the mentors brought seven new mentees into the program. We are excited to work with more youth in the community this summer and to continue to expand DREAM in the coming school year.  Fundraising and Ownership: Part of DREAM’s model is to empower our mentees to take ownership of their program. One way we accomplish this is engaging the youth in fundraising for future activities that they help plan and want to participate in. This quarter the mentors and youth were excited to throw a block party in the community to celebrate a great first year of DREAM and introduce more residents to the program. Through the cupcake sale the group held on April 13th they were able to raise enough funds to get all the supplies for the block party and make it happen.  Leadership elections: To ensure sustainable leadership turnover, co-chairs only serve one year and then step down to let another mentor be elected into the position. After doing a great job as co-chair for the first year of SHA DREAM Kevin Stine stepped down at the end of the semester and Lesya Horyn was elected as the newest co-chair.  Mentor Retreat: With the addition of eight new mentors the group decided to hold an overnight mentor retreat to enable mentors to get to know one another better and provide some time away from campus to focus on DREAM and what they would like the program to accomplish in the years to come. After DREAM on March 9th twelve mentors and I headed down to Cape Cod for a mentor retreat.  DREAMstock: Once a year the DREAM Office puts on a mentor mini-retreat for all of the mentors in the Greater Boston Area. On April 1st seven Tufts mentors joined mentors from the other DREAM programs in the area at Boston University for Boston DREAMstock. The event was a great opportunity for mentors from the Boston DREAM programs to come together and meet for the first time, discuss best practices within their programs, and plan future collaborations which we can’t wait to see happen. The day included workshops on mentee involvement in fundraising, planning with a purpose, behavior management, and accessing resident services in DREAM communities.  Culminating Experience: At the end of each semester we encourage programs to have a culminating experience. Ideally culminating experiences are something that the group, both mentees and mentors, plan together that is a bigger challenge than a typical Friday DREAM. This spring the group decided to hold a block party in the community.

Summer Programming With the college mentors away for the summer DREAM hires Summer Community Interns to run drop-in programming for the youth in the housing communities that we work in. Shinny Vang, a Tufts DREAM mentor going into her sophomore year, will be the Summer Community Intern for SHA. DREAM Summer Community Interns run programming three days a week with activities taking place in the community and around the Greater Boston Area. We strive to engage the youth from the community ages 6 and up and provide them with fun and safe summer activities that aid in filling the gap between school years. In addition to programming run by the Summer Community Interns, DREAM partners with other organizations to offer additional programming opportunities to youth. This summer we will be inviting a couple of SHA youth to participate in City to Saddle, a weeklong horseback riding day camp at Liberty Hill Farm in Lancaster, MA. Additionally youth in the school year DREAM program ages 13 and older will be invited to attend a Time of Wonder Sailing trip, where youth will travel out of the Boston Harbor for a 3 night sailing trip on a 60ft Pinky schooner. Summer program will run from late June thru mid August. We can’t wait for the adventures to begin. Keep DREAMing! Chad Butt, Boston Programs Director

The DREAM Program, Somerville HA, April-June, 2012  
The DREAM Program, Somerville HA, April-June, 2012  

Local Program Report