This year in our home city of Philadelphia, Dreamline is partnering with Global Citizen, a local community service organizer. Dreamline has been selected as the Feature Service Project for Global Citizen’s King Day Event on January 21, 2019 with an expected attendance of 5,000 people who come to serve and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The theme of the event this year is A World Without Gun Violence. Hundreds of volunteers will be creating Dreamline banners with their dreams of a world without gun violence. They will also be creating portable, free-standing Dreamline exhibition structures called Dream Booths, each one displaying 50 Dreamline banners with dreams on one side and values on the other. Each Dreamline Booth will also contain a shelf on which a box, memorializing a individual who died of gun violence recently, will rest.
These will be packed up at the end of the event and sent to sites around the city where they will be on display for the next few months. If your school or group is in the Philadelphia region and you would like to be considered as a host site for a World Without Gun Violence Dream Booth, click here for more information and the signup form. If you’d like to volunteer for Dreamline at the event, click here. (Select “helping in other ways” on the form. )
We’ll keep you posted on how it goes. This kind of program could be done anywhere with Dreamline banners!
I met Shannon Kline last spring when she came to Philadelphia with the team from the amazingly inspirational Anson Jones Elementary in Dallas, Texas, USA. ( May 5 :The Real Story) It was so thrilling to learn that her exceptional work in collaboration with fellow teacher Candice Lindsay is being recognized by this group who recognized one teacher from each state. –Jeffrey Harlan
Teachers who go the extra mile to ensure that all students are seen, heard, and given the opportunity to become their best selves.
Teachers who understand that no two students are alike, and can find learning strategies to accommodate every student who enters their classroom.
Teachers who lead by example, and deliver a true passion for knowledge that will extend far beyond the classroom walls.
These are the teachers we need. These are the teachers we find to be truly inspiring.
Shannon Kline is the second inaugural Sanford Teacher Award recipient to be announced, and she was chosen for her commitment to creating positive classroom environments that support students’ development and academic growth. She is an inspiration to students, teachers, and families in the community she serves. She began her career 10 years ago at a private preschool that focused solely on social and emotional development before entering kindergarten. In 2014, she transitioned to public school and began teaching in Dallas ISD.
Kline’s student population rarely travels outside their immediate neighborhood. To inspire her students to think beyond their immediate environment, Kline embarked on partnering with the art teacher two years ago to bring the Dreamline Project to the entire school. The Dreamline project is an international organization that fosters children dreaming of how to better the world. The students write poetry in their classroom and then put the poetry on an artwork flag. For two years, Kline and the art teacher motivated the entire campus to partake in inspiring each student to dream. Then, through fundraising and some out-of-pocket expense, Kline and two other teachers, along with campus administration, gathered all the students’ flags and took them to the yearly kick-off in Philadelphia. The students’ flags flew in the National Constitution Center before being packed up and shipped across the globe to fly in other countries. The impact of the project on her students brought them to tears, just knowing others were experiencing their dreams around the world.
The passion Kline has for SEL is apparent in every aspect of her career. She is the SEL Champion of her campus and was responsible for launching the DISD model of SEL to the whole staff at her school. She is a passionate advocate of social emotional learning through the Sanford Harmony program, working closely with other teachers, parents, and students to create a positive school environment.
One of my all-time favorite poets wrote the famous phrase, “For if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly”, and I believe he meant that without dreams, we cannot go anywhere. We cannot do what we are meant to do. Yet, how many school experiences actively engage students in dreaming? Did you hear those students? They are actively engaged in dreaming by their teachers.
When we teach our students the habit of dreaming, of looking to the future, we teach a habit that will serve them all their lives. Our new Dreamline program gives teachers the structure and support to do that AND it links dreams with values. When we accomplish that, we get what I call “power dreams.” Not dreams about power, but dreams that power us, that make us keep going.
If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you visit our new Facebook page @DreamlineB , Follow it, and post something about how important it is to hear these students’ voices and how we want their chorus to be millions strong. Thanks!
The advent of games like Escape Room and BreakoutEDU started around 2007 and their popularity has only kept growing. All across the USA, there are storefront Escape Room entertainment venues where groups of people pay to work collaboratively in order to solve a mystery and literally break out of a room.
They willingly agree to be locked in until they can accomplish the task together (or give up).
We all like mysteries, and we all like to work in groups.
So, building on these common interests, we created a new game called Unlock the Dream. Recently, it was at The Wells Fargo Center as part of a program called Field of Dreams run by Soul, Philadelphia’s indoor/arena football team, and Capital One Bank.
On one end of the field we set up the Dream Prism, a three sided structure with ten by five foot “walls” of flags on each side of it and banners on the top. There were flags from across the USA–Georgia, Alaska, Pennsylvania–and from around the world–Zambia, China, Haiti, and Macedonia. SIX HUNDRED in all. (Each line was carefully sewn and labeled by Dream Angel award winner Patrice Seko!)
And it held a mystery.
On the backs of five out of the 600 flags were bright green stickers with questions printed on them. Some required reading the flag carefully, some required finding the flag on the Dreamline site and looking at information about it there–such as student values–some required using the app or site to do some map reading about where the flag was from. One even required you to put your own hand on the flag to see what kind of hand print was on it.
If you got all five answers, wrote them on your game card, and brought them to the game table, you got to open the Unlock the Dream Box, get a sticker, and then choose a prize from the collection of Capital One or Philadelphia Soul swag–water bottles, towels, sunglasses, and so on.
But how were you supposed to find these flags with the questions?
That’s where our app and the game code came in. By entering the game code in the app, you would get a list of your five game flags. Those flags were somewhere in the group. Those flags had questions on the back. So search and find was part of the game too. Of course the app lists what school the flag was from so the labels on the lines could help, but it still took some careful looking.
What we found when groups of students with a parent or two in tow came to the game table was that 1) the parents loved it too 2) the kids were really good at finding the flags, and 3) they found much more than the flags.
When we set out to solve a mystery, when we move along any path to a destination–such as a dream–there are always surprises. There are always the unintended discoveries. And that’s what we saw first hand.
Students and parents alike started reading not just the flags they had to find, but others as well.
“What did the OTHER kids in Zambia dream of?”
“What were the values besides Team Spirit that inspired a ninth grader in Haiti to work for change?” ”
“What else besides football did a fifth grader in West Philadelphia want to see girls have access to for gender fairness?”
We could see them learning, exploring, and discovering together. And then solving a mystery to get a prize.
Prizes are fun, but we probably didn’t need them. It was clear that children and adults alike found the process rewarding and fun all by itself.
Unlocking a Dream in our lives can be a daunting task. But the beginning of it is realizing you’re not the only one who has a dream. It’s part of being human. Moving toward understanding other people’s dreams is a critical part of understanding, declaring, and acting on our own dreams.
And then we’re unlocking something so much bigger than a room. We’re really breaking out together!