Tanya Callender leads the U.S. Dream Academy’s Baltimore Center in the role of Center Director. Providing ten years of experience in non-profit and public management, Ms. Callender combines direct experience developing youth programs with hands-on classroom expertise. Ms. Callender has experience working with a broad spectrum of nonprofit as well as government organizations including FEMA, the Friendship Edison Collegiate Academy, the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Baltimore Urban League. Ms. Callender possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from the University of Valladolid in Spain, and Urban Community Planning at University of Maryland, College Park.
Renee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, African & African Diaspora Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and is currently pursuing her Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from University of Maryland University College. She holds certifications as a Community Conferencing Facilitator, Peace Circle Facilitator, and a CPR/First Aid certification.
On March 8, 2017, the Dream Academy partnered with teachers and staff members of Pimlico Elementary/Middle School for another fun family engagement night. This evening was centered around science, and staff from Inner Harbor’s Maryland Science Center brought several fun and interesting activities for our students and families to enjoy.
Activities included uncovering the identity of a liquid through chemistry, looking at the world through the eyes of other animals, and discovering why the sky is blue and how rainbows form. One exhibit provided special glasses that only allowed one to see certain colors in different photos of outer space, demonstrating how scientists isolate clusters of stars in order to identify and count them. Overall, it was a great and informative evening. Thank you, Maryland Science Center!
Our 4th grade DreamKids got their engineering juices flowing in April by studying force and motion and building a Newton’s Cradle. Newton’s Cradles are structures that demonstrate how potential energy converts to kinetic energy and back to potential energy. This process continues until gravity stops the swinging balls’ motion. DreamKids meticulously filled ping pong balls with sand, rice, corn meal or clay to increase the mass of the balls.
DreamKid engineers needed to utilize their knowledge of fortified bases they learned earlier this year while building roller coasters to ensure the ping pong ball's kinetic energy would not cause the structure to collapse. Several models worked accurately and the DreamKids were surprised that the first ping pong ball to work had only air inside of it. Light or heavy, the DreamKids learned that potential and kinetic energy was converted in Newton's Cradle. Who knows what they will build next!
The Dream Academy Learning Center in Baltimore was one of the organization's earliest centers. Opened in 2002, the Learning Center at Collington Square Elementary School served approximately 500 students in grades pre-K – eight, most of whose families live below the poverty line. The Learning Center at Collington Square earned the “Center of the Year” honor in 2006. With support from the Mayor's Office and the Baltimore City Public School Office of Student Support and Safety, the Dream Academy made the decision to relocate the program to a school and community in great need of comprehensive after school programs such as ours. Pimlico Elementary/Middle School in South Park Heights was identified and the program opened there for the 2010/2011 academic year.
Currently Pimlico Elementary and Middle School is undergoing major renovations and our program is temporarily housed at 3910 Barrington Road until the school renovations are complete in 2018.
In Baltimore, the U.S. Dream Academy operates under the Maryland 21st Century grant from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). This grant allows us to expand our program from 60 to 100 students, add a mobile technology lab with 30 new Kindle Fire tablets, and also purchase a mobile cart to easily move equipment around the school. This mobile cart is particularly handy as our partner school, Pimlico Elementary and Middle School is undergoing a major renovation this school year, and we had to physically move our Learning Center to a temporarily location. Despite relocation challenges, the Dream Academy has re-established our presence, and gained a new cohort of students in addition to retaining students from last year. We are thankful to both the Family League of Baltimore City and MSDE for funding during these times of transition so we are better able to meet the transportation and afterschool support needs of our students and families.
Art with a Heart
Beth Tfilioh (Meditation, Yoga, and Zumba)
George and Dyara Henderson
Giant Foods (Nutrition classes)
Leveling the Playing Field (Sports & Recreation)
Park Heights Renaissance
Pimlico Elementary-Middle School
Loyola University Speech Pathology Department
Notre Dame of Maryland University Psychology/Child Development
Towson University Family Studies Department