Friday, March 23, 2012

Parent & Mentor Mixer

Thanks to Take Stock in Children and willing community members, most of the Dreamers have dedicated mentors who meet with them on a regular basis. Some of the Dreamers have been with the same mentor for years and have developed meaningful relationships with them! Because the Dreamers are the core focus of the I Have A Dream organization, it is very important for the main adults in their lives to meet and develop a relationship of their own: the parents and the mentors.

The Parent & Mentor Mixer was held at Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School. Here, Dreamers, parents, and mentors came together and laughed over great food and conversation! After the introductions, the evening took off with a very FUN trivia game. The game asked various questions about the Dreamers (e.g. favorite color; top choice for college; hobbies; etc) in which the parents and mentors had to figure out which Dreamer the responses matched. It was a nice and fun way to test how much each parent and mentor knew about their Dreamer. Most importantly, the parents and mentors had the opportunity to get to know one another. At the end, parents had to state 3 things they learned about their child's mentor. It was very nice to see them interacting!

THANK YOU to all the parents and mentors who attended this event!! You guys are AWESOME!!!

Trivia Game begins!

The Smith Family & Martinique (mentor)

Patricia (mentor) & the Spells Family

Simon (mentor) & the Cruz Family

Greg (mentor), Malik,  and his mom (Ms. Johnson)

Jennifer (mentor), Estrella, her mom (Ms. Ulces)

Mentor(n): an experienced and trusted friend and adviser
"Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction." {John C. Crosby}

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Field Day!!

Nearly 90 Dreamers spent their Saturday (March 3 2012) at a Field Day in Greynold's Park! To enjoy this day of Egg-N-Spoon Race, Water Balloon Toss, Potato Sack Race,and Tug-of-War, two I Have A Dream programs came together: the middle/high school Dreamers from Overtown and the fourth/fifth grade Dreamers from Hibiscus Elementary. It was nice to see the older and younger Dreamers come together in play, conversation, and over GREAT food!

Although working in different locations and with different youths, both programs share a common vision: to have our Dreamers attain educational goals that will allow them to lead positive lives. Knowing this common goal, it is only natural for the two groups to not only enjoy each other's company, but also learn from one another. There is so much that the older Dreamers can teach the younger Dreamers; and believe it or not, the older Dreamers can also learn from the younger Dreamers as well. It was an AWESOME worth repeating in the near future :)

A VERY special thank you to AmeriCorps VISTA Glenn Howard, Project Coordinator Jonas Severes, Co-Project Coordinator Micah Whitney, and ALL of the volunteers who gave up their Saturday to help.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum

In honor of Black History Month, the Dreamers toured the Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum in Overtown on February 25 2012.

The Precinct & Museum was constructed in 1950 in the Black community of Colored Town (now known as Overtown). Although short-lived, the Precinct & Museum was very successful: Officer Otis Davis was one of the first Black homicide detectives in Miami, Florida; the Precinct was responsible for confiscating numerous fire-arms and making the streets of Colored Town safe; and more than 6000 cases were tried by a Black judge, Judge Johnson.

Dreamers learned that despite the hard work of the Black police officers, they all faced discrimination:
1. They were denied the opportunity to take the Police Exam
2. Were called "patrolmen" instead of "policemen"
3. They did not receive a pension, although the white police officers did
4. Only Black police officers had to walk or share the one bicycle in the Precinct

Dreamers were also able to see the courtroom, Judge's chamber, and the jail cells. It was a nice trip and I urge all followers of this blog to take a visit.

A HUGE "Thank you" to our tour guide, Shelby D. Goodman!! You were AWESOME!!

Retired Black police officers responsible for making the precinct a historic museum

White officers in KKK gear during a funeral procession of a fellow officer

Otis Davis: one of the first Black homicide detectives in Miami, FL

Black officers had to walk or ride a bicycle

Inside the courthouse

Jail Cell

Group Picture :)