A child with a dream is a child with a future. When children are equipped with SKILLS, CHARACTER, and DREAMS, they stand a much better chance of overcoming difficult life-circumstances. This approach to supporting young people is what inspired Pastor Jerrold Thompson and the San Bernardino Community Seventh-day Adventist Church to invite the U.S. Dream Academy to San Bernardino. Many of the communities our kids travel through to attend school face challenges.
Evidence has shown that with the right support, every child can achieve. The San Bernardino Dream Academy Learning Center will reach with a focus to the children of incarcerated parents, and to children who are falling behind their peers in academic achievement. Leveraging the expertise and evidence-based practices gained during our twenty years of working with children of incarcerated parents, and kids who are falling behind in school, the U.S. Dream Academy is uniquely prepared to help kids learn to reach for and achieve their dreams.
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The San Bernardino Dream Academy Learning Center will provide academic SKILL enhancement, training in CHARACTER development and programming to help children learn to nurture an aspirational DREAM.
Curtis Riley Elementary School, George Brown Elementary School, and Arrowview Middle School have embraced the Dream Academy Learning Center, have become partners and have established a pipeline to collaborate around ensuring student success. San Bernardino High School has also engaged the Dream Academy Learning Center and will be working with us to develop and mobilize Dream Teens.
These young people will serve as student leaders, helping within Dream Academy Learning Center programs, gaining valuable leadership skills, while learning community service and organization skills.
The San Bernardino Learning Center is the Dream Academy’s eighth Center, with a scheduled opening in January 2019. San Bernardino, California, the Inland Empire’s largest city, is emerging from a particularly rough patch: in 2012, it was the largest municipality at the time to declare bankruptcy, and in 2015 experienced a devastating terrorist attack. Although battered, the city’s spirit was not destroyed.
Pastor Jerrold Thompson spearheaded a local effort that worked throughout 2017 and 2018 to bring the Dream Academy and its proven afterschool programming to this struggling city. Mayor R. Carey Davis is among those welcoming the Dream Academy to San Bernardino. Pastor Thompson’s church, the San Bernardino Community Seventh-Day Adventist Church, is the host site for the Learning Center and is ideally located near several schools serving largely diverse, low-socioeconomic families. It is directly across the street from San Bernardino High School, while Curtis Riley Elementary and George Brown Elementary, as well as Arrowview Middle School, are just blocks away. The San Bernardino Center will serve up to 60 students from the nearby elementary and middle schools, while San Bernardino High School students will be trained as peer mentors to work with our DreamKids. Eventually, high school students – “DreamTeens” – will be served by the San Bernardino Learning Center as well.
The Dream Academy looks forward to contributing to the city’s recovery process.