April 2017

DREAM's Montessori arrives in Santo Domingo!

Our Montessori program continued to grow this last month with the opening of a new classroom in Santo Domingo. After months of program  design and teacher  training , we will be serving 50 children   at Escuela Virgen del Carmen in Guachupita, an underserved community in the capital. Prior to opening, we sparked interest among families by offering the Escuelita de Padres program , where parents learned new techniques to use positive discipline and promote learning through daily activities in the home .  

S tudents will be engaged daily in learning and exploration, using  concrete educational materials and participating in self - directed activities in a beautiful and inviting class room. The teachers have been prepar ed through DREAM Montessori site visits, reading discussions about the Montessori philosophy, workshops on Montessori methodology, and creating materials to use in the classroom  environment.  We are very enthusiastic about this new project and the difference that DREAM P roject will make in a new community.
Cigar Country Benefit 2017: 
The New Dominican Philanthropy

We are so proud to celebrate the success of our sold out event, the Cigar Country Benefit 2017, and recognize  La Flor Dominicana's  Litto Gomez and  Antonio Gomez! Special thanks to our guests, sponsors, staff and volunteers -- what a night! Because of your continued dedication to our benefit, we were able to surpass our goal and provide the highest quality education to more than 600 young Montessori students. This annual event has proven that the Dominican Republic has both the corporate social responsibility and philanthropic community to make sustainable change a reality! Take a look  here for more press and photos.
Third Round of My Very Own Library Book Fairs Begins!

Accessibility to high-interest books that are based on children's reading levels is a game changer. In partnership with My Very Own Library and Scholastic, DREAM has provided more than 75,000 books to children and local libraries over the past few years to promote a culture of reading on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.  "Ten free books that students select and take home; award winning author visits; family literacy events; and strong community partnerships make up the My Very Own Library program," says Shannon Boehmer, Project Director, My Very Own Library.  A big thank you to all of the local teachers and parents who support this project by reading with their children at school and at home, making reading a common practice in our communities. In particular, we are grateful to the late Anne Feeley who, in 2011, founded My Very Own Library. By summer 2017, My Very Own Library will have provided nearly 1.6 million books to students in underserved communities.
We're Back! A Ganar #20 Starts in Gaspar Hernández

DREAM's youth workforce development program is finally back in the Gaspar Hernández community , providing youth with new opportunities to transform their lives. And we are off to a great start! A special thank you to Banco Popular Dominicano for their constant support, and Claudia Lambert, D irector of the university UTESA in Gaspar Hernández , for providing classroom space. To date, A Ganar has graduated more than 6 00 youth from 8 different communities in the North Coast. Our holistic approach prepares graduates to gain employ ment , go back to school, or both.  You can find more information about A Ganar on our website .
The DREAM Spring Music Festival Fills Cabarete Beach with Music

The DREAM Spring Music Festival was held at Lax/Ojo Cabarete on April 21st, bringing together an amazing lineup of musician s f rom the International School of Sosúa Music Program (Route 19), DREAM Contemporary Music Program , IOAS DREAM Bachata Academy and special guest Ricci Oriach. Every week, 85 children and youth between the ages of 8 and 18 participate in DREAM 's   m usic p rograms,  with the goal of inspiring young people to improve their quality of life through the craft of music.   Students  receiv e musical instruction in multiple areas and practice with a variety of  instruments , learning different styles ranging from jazz and world music to b achata and Dominican mer e ngue .   The event raised funds for the annual music camp, which aims to reach 80 to 100 young people from Cabarete and surrounding communities.  To  add your contribution , click here !
Carnaval brings education and entertainment to the DREAM Center

Nearly 60 Young Stars students from the Cabarete area participated in a fun and educational workshop from the organizing team of Carnaval Cabarete. The presenters shared information about the history and culture of Carnaval in the Dominican Republic. Students learned how each comparsa, or group of performers, creates elaborate costume designs and unique dances or movements that showcase a distinct community or group. One of the DREAM students who participated in the first Cabarete youth comparsa, los Diablos del Atlántico, shared his experience in this year's parade while several students tried on the costumes specially designed to represent Cabarete. We can't wait for next year! 
Choco, choco, la, la
Choco, choco, te, te
Choco, la, choco, te

Thank you to our Global Connections Groups for investing in our communities !   Fifty children from Palo Amarillo spent their spring holidays with a group of students from Manassas Park, Virginia and helped paint their school. The  students spent some time teaching each other how to play hand games  and the children from Palo Amarillo sang some special songs for their friends from Virginia. In addition, w e had a very talented group of students from South Berwick, Maine that help ed freshen up the library in La Ci é naga and complete a nice mural. We were pleased to find out they had some very talented artists in the group .   Finally, w hen rain prevented the group from Troy, NY from starting their planting project , they turned up the music and got dancing lessons from high school students in Jamao. Luckily t he rain cleared up in the afternoon , and with in 3 hours they had planted 50 avocado and mango trees as well as painted the school auditorium. Great collaborative work everyone!
DREAMer of the Month 
Patricia Buten

Patricia started working with DREAM Project as the Montessori O ffice M anager in the summer of 2011. With her positive attitude, impeccable organization al and problem-solving skills, and ability to take initiative , she was quickly promoted to DREAM Center Coordinator and then to Head Accountant/Community Relations Coordinator. In this role she was in charge of all finance and accounting procedures as part of the USAID Alerta Joven project, a very complex job. We are proud to have worked with Patricia and watched her grow professionally. She has been an excellent role model and inspiration to many of our staff!  We wish her well with her new job opportunity in Punta Cana, and hope she visits us again soon. 
Donors of the Month 

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

Dupuy      Alvarez y Sanchez      Synchro      CEPM      CCN      Legacy      Dufry      UPS      Banco Central     
Banco Progreso      Rolex      Montblanc      BPD
Banco Lopez      Zanwill International Inc.      Boveda
Cigar Aficionado      Graphic Designer      Cigar Rings
International Packaging Company Inc.      PROCIGAR     
La Flor Dominicana      Florenzza      Lendof & Asociados
Cigar Country Stores      Villa Vacation for Change
Millennium Resort and Spa 
Ultravioleta Boutique Residences
Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge      Grupo Bentrani     
Grupo Saman      Catherine Macdougall      Rebecca Newell
Mercer Middle School & John Champe
CFC Campaign 2016      LitWorld International, Inc.
Paula J. Powers      Education First      Valerie Catalucci      Emily Serebryany      Dmitry Serebryany      Haydee Luciano
Gabriele de Plano      The Thomas Rosato Foundation
Alberto Sanchez      Michel Zaleski      Deborah Campbell
Kansas State University Foundation      Christopher Lopez
Dr. Mark Kemenosh      Michael Harness     
Banco Popular Dominicano

And all who donated to the
A special thanks to our Shared Responsibility Partners!


GlobalGiving vetted Organization 2015