DREAM believes that high quality primary education is key to helping youth stay in school and engaged in learning. Student-centered classrooms, trained teachers, interesting learning materials, high interest books, and a culture of reading are at the core of our primary education programs. Innovative education and learning opportunities allow students to develop strong academic skills that set them up for success.
HOW IT WORKS
DREAM’s quality primary education programs address the needs of children and youth in 1st – 8th grade in four key areas: academic enrichment and support, summer camps, libraries and literacy programs, and teacher training.
What if 40% of all students in your school did not move past eighth grade? This is our challenge in the Dominican Republic. The Young Stars Program supports students within the public schools, providing intensive reading instruction to students who are behind grade-level standards during the school day.
Research shows that low-income students lose more than two months of reading gains over the summer. Our Summer Schools and Camps target students who are most at-risk of dropping out, increasing their potential to graduate from primary school and become inspired, lifelong learners.
A literacy revolution means access to books for all. Most Dominican communities do not have access to the books or libraries necessary for children to learn to read. Our Community Libraries host literacy programs in public schools and community centers such as our LitClubs, which engage adolescents in book clubs encouraging them not only to read but to build strong community with their peers.
There are so many factors that revolve around a failing system, but none more important than a qualified, inspired teacher. Our teacher training program, Futuros, equips current teachers and education students with the tools and strategies necessary to provide quality education in the public schools.
BY THE NUMBERS
- More than 1,000 students enrolled in summer camp annually
- 483 students enrolled in Young Stars at 6 sites
- 30 future teachers equipped with new teaching strategies
- 8 school and community libraries
- 25,000 children’s books distributed annually to build home libraries
- 2,000 children reached through My Very Own Library Book Fairs each year
"I feel very proud of the change that I have seen in my son since he started coming to DREAM. Before the program he was very shy, but now I’ve seen that he is more social. Every day he comes home and tells me about all the fun things he did with his teachers. He says that DREAM is the most exciting thing he has ever done! He loves when the director gives him a hug. I would like for my son to continue with Young Stars and music classes next year." – Bilma Díaz
"I have two daughters who have attended DREAM for the past 3 years. DREAM’s summer camp taught them how to read. They were falling behind other students, but the teachers’ patience and love working with them has really made a difference. I want my daughters to continue going to summer camp in the future, because it’s better for them to be learning and not playing in the streets. I also enjoy the parent meetings because I can share with my neighbors and learn what other parents think about different situations, which I don’t normally have the chance to do. I love how DREAM wants to build relationships with parents in the communities where they work." – Alesandra Martinez