DREAM! DARE TO REVITALIZE EDUCATION THRU ARTS & MEDIATION

aka DREAM!   |   Bronx, NY   |  http://dare2dreambx.org

Mission

DREAM! (Dare to Revitalize Education through Arts & Mediation)'s mission is to arm young people and their teachers with practical skills to dismantle the school to prison pipeline, support student engagement with learning and academic success, and encourage the creative confidence of young leaders.

DREAM! is accomplishing this mission through three popular programs: Safety with Dignity, a restorative practice program for teachers and students in middle and high schools; The COVE Media Arts & Literacy program; and Lens for Change, an arts-education program that provides NYC youth the opportunity to produce high quality videos, photography, and graphic design while teaching job readiness, conflict resolution and teamwork skills.

Ruling year info

2016

Co-Founder/Executive Director

Ms. Aisha Norris

Main address

3418 Gates Place

Bronx, NY 10467 USA

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Formerly known as

CTM DREAMS

EIN

45-5473512

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Safety with Dignity

DREAM!s’ first full-fledged program is Safety With Dignity, a Bronx-based alternatives-to-violence, youth development program that trains high school students and their teachers in peer-mediation and restorative practice. Restorative practice builds relationships student with student, and teachers with their students, creating a sense of community in the school that helps prevent wrongdoing and violence, and encourages young people to take responsibility for the impact of their actions.

There is no magical solution, but Safety with Dignity arms students and teachers with inspiration and the practical skills to de-escalate conflict; reduce bullying; decrease violence and student suspensions; and promote a culture of communication and mutual respect in Bronx and Harlem communities disproportionately affected by violence, and the economic and educational inequity described above.

Population(s) Served

DREAM!'s Media Arts & Literacy Program is a media-based, project learning, mentoring, and homework help program, led by talented Teaching Artists. The program is currently offered during the school year from October thru May. The program year is divided; October thru March is our Media and Arts and Literacy programming and March thru May is our Young Men and Young Women’s groups and Health & Fitness/Martial Arts classes.

For 20 weeks October through March during the school year, COVE programs are open Monday through Thursday from 4 – 8 pm. During these 20 weeks of the school year, the Media Arts and Literacy Program serves 40 young people ages 14 – 18 years old.

Population(s) Served

Lens for Change our Media Arts and Literacy program is a culmination of CTM DREAM and the COVE. The COVE is a 27 year old after school program based in a cozy building basement in the Knox Gates area of the North Bronx. The COVE was founded with the mission to offer an alternative for young people to the flourishing drug market ever so present in the Knox Gates 2 block radius. Lens for Change (then called CTM DREAM) developed a partnership with The COVE in the fall of 2009 offering media arts based programming to middle and high school students in the area during afterschool hours and all day during the summer. After 8 years of a great partnership, The COVE will be officially joining the DREAM! family, after the "asset transfer” process is complete. The official transfer date is scheduled for July 1st 2017. This merge will assure the continuous growth and sustainability of such a landmark program in the North Bronx. Lens for Change the Media and Arts programs new identity will have two arms; The COVE our home base program and self titled Lens for Change its traveling arm. Continuing the CTMD original mission of offering media and arts based programming to as many Bronx and Harlem communities as possible.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

DREAM! seeks to reform the failing public school system and its pipeline into the juvenile justice system that has depleted communities of the resources they need to develop its young people into healthy adults. DREAM!'s programs arm students and teachers with inspiration and the practical skills to de-escalate conflict; reduce bullying; decrease violence and student suspensions; and promote a culture of communication and mutual respect in Bronx and Harlem communities disproportionately affected by violence, and economic and educational inequity.

Youth development is the focus and outcome of the positive discipline strategies employed in our peer-mediation programs and trainings on the use of restorative practice. In our youth-centered approach, rather than being required to follow rules enforced from above, young people develop their own agreements about how to behave with respect for each other. Concepts, skills, and classroom content are presented in exercises that feel like games but begin and end with an in-group personal reflection that ties the exercise back to real-world relationships with the school community, friends, and family.

Then in our peer-to-peer “talk it out" campaigns, mediators are given the opportunity to mobilize and redirect popular youth culture as they create a PSA's or music video, design posters & T-shirts, and lead whole school assemblies that feature their skits, or an educational performance by 4 Wheel City, two rappers confined to wheelchairs due to gunshot injuries.

Our 18-hour peer-mediation training for national certification as mediators invites young people to take emotional risks as they explore a new way of being powerful (we call it being “assertive", rather than “passive" or “aggressive" and hurtful to others).

Restorative practice used by teachers leads young people to understand and respect their own feelings, manage their anger, truly hear each other and the teacher, and take responsibility for their actions. Building this kind of caring community in the classroom and school encourages deeper, more authentic student engagement with learning, and higher achievement.

Young people learn the skills to lead - in a mediation guiding two angry peers to discover a win-win solution to their conflict, or in PM Club acquiring the skills to strategize a plan that promotes “talking it out", implementing the plan, and succeeding in persuading peers to try this “new thing" called mediation. As one teacher in a school we work in has noted, “The program goes beyond preventing violence and giving students an alternative to fighting. I have seen peer-mediators come out of their shell…they are able to speak in front of teachers…they have more confidence and new skills…they can advocate for themselves and are more mature, making better life decisions, and thinking more about the future."

The goals of The COVE's Media Arts & Literacy Program and Lens for Change are for young people to:
1. Be engaged with learning and achievement of academic success on a path to college, the world of work or both.
2. Become leaders that have the skills and confidence to impact issues that affect themselves and their world.
3. Have a positive sense of self and healthy relationships with others.

DREAM!'s Safety with Dignity program incorporates methodologies used by the International Institute for Restorative Practice and Creative Responses to Conflict, yet is distinctive in the following ways: our focus on Bronx and Harlem schools and communities; our youth-centered, youth development approach to empowering young people; our team of young trainers who grew up in the Bronx high school system and themselves exemplify how nonviolent, restorative practices are feasible responses to conflict in our community; the use of improv theater and media arts as a core modality; and a two to five year series of professional development to train and assist teachers in whole-school implementation of restorative practice.

DREAM!'s COVE Media Arts and Literacy Program and Lens for Change are facilitated by staff trained in Restorative Practice and Conflict Resolution. Therefore, as youth work in teams to learn and complete their art projects they are also learning and practicing skills for building healthy relationships and dealing nonviolently to conflict.

Safety with Dignity's first major initiative was a community-based performance called AIN'T EASY. Performed by local youth, AIN'T EASY used hip-hop dialogue and large-screen video to tell the true stories of five Bronx teens, their attraction to violent responses, the resulting hardships, and their decision to opt for better alternatives. From 2006–2009, Safety With Dignity held 19 performances of AIN'T EASY at local schools and community centers, and performed AIN'T EASY over three seasons at the Hostos Center for Arts & Culture. Over 13,000 middle and high school students attended the performances and participated in post-show discussions with the cast.

In response to AIN'T EASY after-performance discussions, Safety with Dignity began youth centered, youth development work as a strategy to assist young people in the epidemic of violence they face daily. Safety with Dignity:
• Initiated and then collaborated with youth organizations Sistas & Brothers United, Youth on the Move, and Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice to organize a Bronx-wide youth conference called Another Bronx for Youth is Possible;
• Joined these organizations in a Bronx-wide Choose 2 Change Coalition (C2C) that worked for two years toward transformation of high school safety and discipline policies and the replacement of metal detectors with restorative practice, improved counseling, peer-leadership and mediation and;
• As a contribution to C2C, created a video that documents how one of NYC's most dangerous high schools was transformed into a safe & respectful learning community, and for 13 years proved that safety with dignity can exist in a large school without metal detectors and police;

Since 2010 when the C2C youth organizations joined the successful, citywide Dignity in Schools campaign for the NYC School Safety Act, Safety with Dignity has:
• Continued in 2 & 3 year “residencies" in 10 South Bronx & Harlem schools - on the Morris High School Campus, at Frederick Douglas Academy III, Validus Prep Academy, Academy of Bronx Letters, Esperanza High School, Bronx Academy for Software Engineering, and the International Community High School;
• Trained 218 student mediators and helped students & teachers establish a Peer-Mediation Program in each of these schools;
• Trained an additional 120 youth mediators, and helped mediators and staff set up Peer-Mediation Programs at 6 CBOs: Harlem Children's Zone, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice, South Bronx Job Corps, and New Settlement Apartments;
• Reached approximately 2,800 students with student-led PM promotion campaigns that encourage young people to “talk it out";
• Trained and coached 89 teachers in restorative practice; and now;
• At International Community High School, created a curriculum and is teaching (one in English, the other in Spanish) two full credit courses in Media Arts & Non-Violent Struggle for Change.

Financials

DREAM! DARE TO REVITALIZE EDUCATION THRU ARTS & MEDIATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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DREAM! DARE TO REVITALIZE EDUCATION THRU ARTS & MEDIATION

Board of directors
as of 09/26/2017
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Laura Vural

Harlem Children's Zone

Term: 2009 -

William Norris

Frederick Douglas High School Bronx

Evelyn Burnett

Economic Opportunity Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

Aisha Norris

DREAM!

Tracey Castillo

Harlem Children's Zone

Nisha Nair

ArtSparks Foundation

Priscilla Prutzman

Creative Response to Conflict

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes