Sunday, January 30, 2011

Biscayne Nature Center (Sea Grass Adventure)

Our trip to Key Biscayne started out rough. The Dreamers knew that today's trip was going to involve getting wet, however, the cold, crisp air of the morning did not make them excited about the idea. Luckily, by the time we arrived at the Biscayne Nature Center and received the proper instructions for the day's activities, the weather had warmed up. Bryan showed us how to manipulate the nets in order to catch marine live living in the sea grass. After reviewing the proper safety tips, we were told to leave all electronics behind and change into clothes we would not mind getting wet. Now, dressed in old clothing, holding large nets, and wearing life jackets, the Dreamers were ready to head to the Beach.

We divided into small groups and had fun venturing through beds of sea grass. The kids were up to their thighs in water. We caught some fascinating marine life, such as, pea fish, pipe fish, sea stars (also known as star fish), sea urchins, brown and red algae, sea sponges, etc. But don' worry...we did release them after learning more information about each specimen. 

Once our adventure through the sea grass was complete, we journeyed back to the Nature Center to change into dry clothes and have lunch. Before heading back to the bus, the Dreamers drew pictures of their favorite moment of the day. This trip was truly amazing. What could be better than spending a day at the Beach :)

We would like to give a special thanks to Martinique and Patricia for chaperoning out and the Biscayne Nature Center for having us.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2011

Jan. 17, 2011 at Miami Dade College(MDC)-Wolfson, MDC students, I Have a Dream-Overtown, Inc., and I Have a Dream-Miami, Inc., all gathered in tribute to the late, GREAT, Dr. King, Jr. Representatives from each organization went on stage to express the influence Dr. King has had on their life. Christian Cruz, spoke on behalf of IHAD-Overtown, and boldly stated, "To me Dr. King represents honor, freedom, and equality." He thanked King for uniting people of all ethnicities and saying NO to racism. Our Dreamers presented a MLK Day of Service banner along with a portrait of King drawn by Jaimesha Smith, Trenice Maddox, Demani Blatch, and Vernon Maddox. 

For our service-learning event, we traveled to Oleta River State Park and joined forces with Urban Paradise Guild to help remove invasive plants called Burma Reed but along the way it started raining. Nevertheless, the weather did not stop us from fulfilling Dr. King's legacy of serving others. Once we arrived at the service site, we all rain under th registration tent. Then we ran under the instruction tent. With no where else to run and looks of "how are we going to work in the rain?"; Urban Paradise provided us with clear trash bags to make ponchos, head gear, and any other article of clothing we needed to stay somewhat "dry." 

Once ready to work, the Dreamers were instructed to remove the Burma seeds that grow at the very tip of these tall plants. We have to place all the seeds in plastic bags and make sure none touched the ground, because if they did more plants could grow. After spending a few hours in the rain with hopes of making the environment a little better, we concluded our Day of Service with lunch at the pavilion. Although it rained that day, it was also very symbolic of the types of conditions those who marched in the Civil Rights Movement had to endure for the betterment of America. 

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.” -Coretta Scott King

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holiday Mixer 2010

On Dec. 17, 2010, we held a holiday mixer to show our appreciation to the mentors, volunteers, and community partners who help make I Have a Dream-Overtown a successful program. We laughed, ate delicious food from Mama Jennies, mingled, and enjoyed classic holiday songs like, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and White Christmas. In the spirit of giving, Dreamers presented their mentors with a token of appreciation to recognize and thank them for their passion and commitment. Also, Ernesto DeArmas, one of our human growth and development facilitators from Planned Parenthood, gave each child a gift bag filled with a water bottle, flash light, pen, and stress ball, to thank them for their friendship and participation with Planned Parenthood. Later in the celebration, Kiki, Wadlene, and Sendy, bestowed Mr. Lewis with a lovely Christmas card signed by all of the students. To conclude this momentous occasion, Ms. Hill made a thoughtful speech, wishing the Dreamers happy holidays and thanking them for welcoming her into the program and into their lives as their new VISTA. 

Thank you to everyone who came out and made our event a success. I Have a Dream is truly thankful for the contributions you have made in making our program what it is today.

With much LOVE,

I Have a Dream-Overtown, Inc.