Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oliver...... "More Please"......

Today the Dreamers attended OLIVER.  An addaptation of the Charles Dickens classic Oliver Twist.  We were guests of Mrs. Montgomery at the Actors Playhouse, on Miracle Mile.  The day started with a bus ride to Miracle Mile, once we arrived we walked a block to have a nutrious lunch at Subways.... "EAT FRESH"....  Being that we have been here several times, the dreamers were well in tune with the routine: get in line, order, sit, eat, and converse before the curtain rises.  It is always nice to have strangers come by and ask, "what group/school is this"? and say "they are so well behaved" in a surprised tone.  Once lunch was done, we walked across the street to the theatre, approached the will call window, distributed the tickets and were escorted to our seats by the ushers. 
As the characters came to life, the audience was treated to classic songs such as: Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, Pick a Pocket or Two, As Long As He Needs Me, I'd Do Anything, and many more!  The crowing moment came at the end, as the cast began their curtain call and one of our dreamers stood and yelled, "I love you Oliver".  Priceless!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

U.S. Coast Guard Tour

Today we were invited to tour the U.S. Coast Guard base on Miami Beach.  We were afforded this amazing opportunity with help from the mentors: K. Maclin, C. Schider-Heisel, K. Baxter, M. Teixeira, T. Bigay, M. Metz,  S. Sekitoleko, E. Rivera, M. Lange, and C. Campbell who have been visiting our Dreamers at Nautilus Middle School.  The day started with a quick bus ride across the McCarther Causeway.  Once we arrived Officer Macklin escored our group to a cozy eating area where the kids had all the pizza, soda, water, cookies, and brownies they could eat!  With full bellies, the kids boarded Coast Guard cutters, patrol and rescue boats,  to see what its like on board.  It was really good to see all the dreamers simply walking side by side with the officers, asking questions, laughing, turning on the boat sirens and simply experiencing a memorable moment.  Shout out the the BEST MENTORS IN MIAMI!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Art Basel

Sponsored by Hands on Miami & UBS

Today we ventured over to Miami Beach, thanks to Hands on Miami and UBS, to learn more about art via the city's Art Basel events. First, we walked around Collins Ave., examining different pieces of public art. The kids were given sketch books and had to sketch their interpretations of the different works of art. We learned phrases such as, "Mimo" which stand for "Miami Modernism" and saw some very interesting and unique designs. Later, lunch was served in the Banyon Room at the lovely Botanical Gardens, followed by an art activity. After learning about what art is and the different types of art, we were able to create our own masterpiece...HOPE YOU LIKE IT! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Baskets 11/21/10

Dreamer Trip to Dave Alper Jewish Center

Every year, the Dave Alper Jewish Center, along with long time IHAD volunteers: Shelly and Sheila assemble 100s of Thanksgiving Baskets for donations. For the past two years, we have used this as a service learning opportunity for our dreamers to bring their own family members to join in the effort.

The day began with a bus ride from Overtown to the Dave Alper Center in south Miami. The dreamers (along with siblings) are then whisked away to an art room to work on hand-made Thanksgiving cards. Each dreamer and sibling is responsible for making two cards: one for their family basket and one for an anonymous family. The parents that attend are all gathered in another room, sorting, organizing, and getting the items together (canned yams, veggies, cookies, juice, and fruit) to place into the baskets. 

Once the cards are complete, the best part of the day begins. The dreamers join the assemble of adults and help complete the baskets, adding the hand-made cards and putting the finishing touches to each. In all the whole outing lasted about 4 hours, but the opportunity for the dreamers and families to work together on this endeavor is priceless!

Miami International Book Fair

Take Stock in Children held a mentor/mentee mingle at the Miami International Book Fair on Nov. 20, 2010. As we stepped off the bus at New World School of the Arts, Dreamers along with other Take Stock kids, trampled through the front door up to the sign-in tables. Once checked-in, the kids grabbed their lunch then located their mentors. For the rest of the day mentors and mentees were able to spend one-on-one time as they browsed through tents full of books and enjoyed the festivities. 

FIU vs. ULM Football Game

Nov. 6, 2010
Tonight we took a few car loads of Dreamers to see the Florida International University football team take on the University of Louisiana Monroe. The evening kick-off with a brisk temperature of 50 degrees was outstanding football weather!

Ms. Hill and I were accompanied by The Smiths' (Jaimesha), The Williams' (Jaja), and The Browns' (Malik) as we all packed our cars with Dreamers. The homecoming atmosphere was amazing, as thousands of students and fans gathered in the parking lots, cooking, playing games, and dancing. 

In the end, the game was a thriller, as FIU won in overtime. The cool weather was a perfect opportunity for the Dreamers to gather close, drink hot chocolate, and cheer on the home team! GO PANTHERS!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Waiting for Superman"

On Oct. 30th, the Dreamers along with parents, went to the movies to watch "Waiting for Superman." This film analyzes the failures of America's public education system by following the lives of several students. After the film, we held a group discussion to get reactions from the parents, kids, and to discuss the importance of education as expressed in the film and in relation to the I Have a Dream-Overtown program. Many of the parents thought the film was very informative and encourage the Dreamers to make good grades and to take advantage of all the opportunities being offered to them through I Have a Dream. Also, it proved valuable for the Dreamers to see how important education was for those kids in the documentary and to compare it to their own. Lunch at a local pizzeria followed the 30 minute discussion. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jungle Island

On October 23, 2010, we were able to explore and discover different types of animals from all over the world at Jungle Island. On our self-guided tour, we saw parrots, monkeys, flamingos, alligators, and so much more! 

University of Miami Tour

On September 9, 2010 we took a trip to the University of Miami (UM) in Coral Gables. A representative from the Office of Admissions spoke to us about what UM looks for in a college applicant-good grades, extra-curricular activities, community service, SAT scores, etc. The kids asked questions regarding what they could currently do in middle school to help prepare them for college...of course they were encouraged to make good grades and get involved with after-school activities. Following the information session, we had lunch and light conversation on "The Green." Then came the most exciting part--THE TOUR! We walked from Admissions, to the School of Communication, College of Engineering, pass the Bookstore, Hurricane Food Court, down to University Lake (where we had to be cautious of Alligators), to the Intramural fields, and concluded with a tour of a model dorm room. Overall, the trip was very informative and a lot of fun! Based on the extreme interest some of the kids showed while on the tour, I am sure we will have some future CANES from the class of 2015.