nuestro modelo
de niño completo

DREAM’s unique Grow the Whole Child
education model is powered by four distinct yet interconnected elements that drive transformative change for youth. Rigorous academics; social-emotional learning; athletics, health, and wellness; and family and community engagement are all equal, crucial parts of the everyday at DREAM.

Los componentes de nuestro modelo

Nuestro modelo Grow the Whole Child se divide en cuatro partes iguales. Juntos, forman nuestro enfoque de 360 grados no solo para el aprendizaje, sino también para el desarrollo de nuestros estudiantes en individuos que viven vidas plenas y tienen agencia sobre su futuro.

Académicos rigurosos

DREAM’s critically conscious curriculum prepares students to fulfill their vision of success, in the classroom and beyond. Across East Harlem and the Bronx, DREAM Charter Schools serve over 1,500 students from preschool to pre-college, and our scholars consistently outperform city and state peers in ELA and Math.

Aprendizaje socioemocional

We believe school should be a place to play, learn, and grow - somewhere that’s about more than just grades and testing, where students can develop both critical thinking skills and compassion. DREAM’s Grow the Whole Child Model is rooted in social-emotional learning, which helps children understand and respond to emotions - aiding their development into individuals who have positive identities, healthy relationships, and the ability to manage adversity.

Athletics, Health, & Wellness

DREAM invests in the mental and physical health of our students. We offer robust in-school physical activity, mental health support services, and free, nationally recognized afterschool and summer sports-based programs that help our scholars become confident, competent, and caring community members who know what it means to be part of a team.

Family & Community Engagement

DREAM’s families are critical partners. From home visits to daily communication, families and school staff actively work together and share decision-making. We support our families outside the classroom, too, with resources that have ranged from food distributions and clothing drives to direct financial support and case management.

nuestro modelo en acción

Every day at DREAM, we put our model into practice - and it pays dividends for our students, families, and community.

Un currículum para el cambio

Since its founding, DREAM Charter High School has worked to define its curriculum as a pathway to developing critical thinkers and lifelong learners who are ready to build, innovate, and drive change. For many, the culmination of this process came in the form of DREAM’s Advanced Placement Research course—a year-long, systematic deep dive into topics affecting the world today. Students not only read articles and developed a research paper; they also created their own hypotheses, built their collection models, conducted unique analysis, and presented their findings. In 2021, students focused on research topics related to minority representation in the media, the social and emotional impact of social media, and the possibility of time travel, to name just a few. The course is now a cornerstone of DREAM’s education model for its high school.

“Lo que espero con ansias es que este curso se convierta no solo en una clase que tomen los estudiantes, sino en algo de lo que sean conscientes al ingresar a la escuela secundaria, un rito de iniciación coherente. Esto es realmente importante como un posible trampolín para su futuro. También es una prueba de pensar en su futuro.”

- Matthew Beaton, DREAM Charter High School History Department Chair & AP Research Course teacher

Una voz para cada estudiante

DREAM Charter High School graduate Daniela Torres is now a student at Stanford University, but a look back at her journey reveals the hurdles she has overcome, including immigrating to New York on her own from Veracruz, Mexico in the seventh grade. Armed with only a bit of English, Daniela found it difficult to communicate and make her voice heard. She struggled making friends. Even after joining DREAM as an eighth grader, it still took several months for her to break through her insecurities about speaking in front of her classmates. When she did, it was a day to remember. From that moment, Daniela gained a reputation as a quiet yet insightful leader among both her peers and DREAM’s teachers and administrators. While her nature is to listen first, she isn’t afraid to speak out when important and necessary. As teacher Alison Browne explains it, she has an “impressive balance of humility and charge.”

“Los estudiantes estaban debatiendo un tema, y de la nada, Daniela intervino y compartió apasionadamente lo que pensaba. Todos se detuvieron y escucharon. Fue un momento importante para ella, para sus compañeros y para sus maestros, y nos mostró que era alguien a quien escuchar.”

- Alison Browne, DREAM East Harlem Middle School Principal

Una familia, muchos sueños

The Ruiz brothers range in age from 6 to 20 years old—and between the five of them, they’ve logged collective decades in DREAM’s programs. Oldest brother Alex Jr. describes the day that the youngest Ruiz became a part of the DREAM family—as a newborn, his parents brought him directly from the hospital to his older brother’s baseball game. Their DREAM journey began when longtime employee Judy Padilla told their mom about a local program that was then called Harlem RBI. At the time, RBI was an afterschool and summer baseball league, but the Ruiz boys are quick to assert that it meant so much more than sports. Blaise described how baseball taught him to be a team player, even working his way up to become captain of his team. “It took me from selfish to selfless,” he said. Now, years later, DREAM staff helped him with his college and financial aid applications, just as they did with his older brother.

“DREAM me dio mi primer grupo de amigos. Era una fuerza guía. Sin ella, me habría perdido.”

- Alex Ruiz Jr., DREAM Legend and Postsecondary Success Coordinator

Tomando el bienestar de corazón, literalmente

After securing grant funding from the East Harlem Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, DREAM embarked on an innovative project to use technology to improve students' activity and give them ownership of their health. Using heart rate monitors during recess at DREAM’s East Harlem Elementary School, members of the Athletics, Health, & Wellness team can monitor how quickly students achieve an active heart rate, how long they stay "in the zone," and what activities are best suited to achieving students' optimal heart rate levels. The team has gained so much knowledge from the pilot program that they see the potential to expand the project to DREAM’s other schools and pursue more data-driven projects in the future.

“Este proyecto nos permite realmente tener el dedo en el pulso, sin juego de palabras, de lo que está sucediendo en todas nuestras ofertas de actividad física. Nos permite realmente ver si estamos logrando este objetivo embriagador de hacer que los niños se muevan durante 60 minutos todos los días.”

- Athletics, Health, & Wellness Team

“Siento que me estoy llevando mucho de DREAM, especialmente saliendo de mi zona de confort y siendo yo mismo. No soy la chica que solía ser. Me siento realmente preparado para la universidad.”

- Leslie Paredes ’21

“Antes de encontrar nuestro camino hacia DREAM estábamos perdidos. No quiero sonar cursi, pero su máxima de 'DREAM is Family' es definitivamente de lo que se tratan. Siento que soy parte del equipo no solo por mi hijo, sino porque he sido parte de DREAM desde que tenía 10 años, así que todo se ha cerrado para mí.”

- Jasmine, DREAM Mother

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