February 2017

¡Dominicano Soy! 

In honor of the Dominican Republic's 173rd anniversary of independence, our Montessori students spent the month of February learning about the founding fathers and history of our homeland. Each class prepared an activity to present to the rest of the students and teachers. Activities consisted of poems, flag making, and songs. Our students learned the importance of February 27th and what it truly means to be Dominican. 
Cultural Exchange and Service-Learning

February has been a busy month for our Global Connections Groups! Our first group of 2017, Millwoods Christian School, split their time at the DREAM Center between building a playground and "reading corner" bench in our park, teaching our Montessori students about Canada and giving Young Stars students some music and drama lessons. Next up was Harrison High School who were back in Los Brazos beautifying the school, donating books, building bookshelves and teaching ESL. Then, Education First helped out in La Ciénaga by giving the new library a fresh coat of paint. Last but definitely not least, Florida State University left their mark in Cuesta Barrosa by building bookshelves and teaching the kids arts and crafts. They completed their trip by participating in the Independence Day Parade from Cuesta Barrosa to Palo Amarillo. 
Living DREAM's Value of Inclusion  

Telemundo's Al Rojo Vivo reporter Sofia Lachapelle's visit to DREAM touched on the importance of inclusion.  Her book, A Special Super Hero, teaches children the importance of accepting and helping everyone, including those different from you. Sofia's non-profit, Un Paso a la Vez, is dedicated to building awareness of autism and providing support to families with special superheroes. 
My Very Own Library

Our My Very Own Library (MVOL) book fairs continue to offer a unique opportunity for 2,000 students from 7 different communities. When we surveyed dozens of parents and students in participating schools, more than 90% stated that the only children's books they have in their homes are from MVOL book fairs or other DREAM related programs.
20 English Teachers in Puerto Plata Inspired by New Communicative Teaching Strategies

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo has made possible a collaboration between DREAM, the Ministry of Education and World Learning in order for 20 public school teachers to gain an internationally recognized certificate in English Teaching Skills for Professionals. After finishing four weeks of online coursework, the teachers had a chance to apply their new knowledge at a six-day in-person training held at the UTESA campus in Puerto Plata. We are grateful to World Learning trainers Brian Long and Susan Renaud for sharing their expertise, and most importantly were very impressed by the creativity and innovation of all participating teachers! 
Latest A Ganar Group Graduates as Part of Alerta Joven Project
This month we celebrated a new group of 23 A Ganar graduates, now ready to take on the world of employment in Cabarete! These outstanding youth completed their internships at local businesses, including Velero Hotel, Eze Bar, and CaribWind. The ceremony was held at Cocoron on Cabarete Beach and featured motivational speeches from students. We were honored to have the presence of special guests Erielba Gil, Workforce Development Specialist from the USAID-funded Alerta Joven project as well as  Yhanny Aquino , from Banco Popular Dominicano, whose funding has helped ensure sustainability of the program. 
Deloitte Consultants Host Strategic Planning Session with DREAM Staff

Thanks to a collaboration with Social Entrepreneur Corps, DREAM was one of four local organizations selected to work with Deloitte as part of their People-to-People Senior Consultant Program in the Dominican Republic. After site visits to several DREAM programs, the Human Capital consultants facilitated a fact-finding conversation with directors and coordinators to understand our long-term vision for growing our most successful programs. A Strategy Lab session helped our team identify key questions to use in our strategic decision-making to ensure high impact and results! 
DREAMer of the Month 
Gracchus Fenelon

Gracchus Fenelon first started at DREAM at the age of 10  as a student in our Summer Camp. He then attended our Young Stars program, where he was Star of the Month on various occasions. After that, he joined our music program. In 2014, he was chosen to participate in "Young Leaders", where he represented DREAM at conferences led by the national Coalition of NGOs for Child Rights. In 2015, he assisted author Ana Galán in writing the children's book Un León En Cabarete. Because of his accomplishments and dedication, he was elected to receive a scholarship to study in Colegio Cadin, where he has earned excellent grades. In 2016, he was secretary of our Summer Camp in La Ciénaga, while also being an assistant Young Stars teacher. Now in 2017, at the age of 16, Gracchus is a coach for our Luchadores Por El Cambio all-male curriculum, a reporter of DREAM's first youth magazine, Mi Mundo, and is accomplishing his DREAM of starting a library in his community of La Ciénaga. Thank you, Gracchus, for all you do and for being a role-model in your community. Continue living the DREAM! 
Donors of the Month 

A special thank you to all who gave this month, including:

US Embassy, Santo Domingo      Florida State University
BVK      Wilmington Friends School      Education First
Beyond the Beach Children's Foundation
Meredith Carriker      German Paz      Lynn Kramer
Suzanne Grant      Lloyd Smith      Sunny Blueskyes
Madelyn Ewing      Adriane Barry      Enia Rivero
MarketAxess      Mildred Pena      Amy Bishop
Carahsoft Charitable Fund
Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Rachel Friedman      Madeline Farr      Jonathan Sacks
Carol Sacks      Joan Rothaus      Ariella Moses
William Webster      Gordito's      Sofia LaChapelle
Millwoods Christian School      Trevor Reid

A special thanks to our Shared Responsibility Partners!


GlobalGiving vetted Organization 2015