Youth Dreamers Summer Art Program Final Report 2014
By: Jessica White
Artscape Civic Leadership Summer Workshop
Greetings and Readings Book Launch
This summer was one like never before. Similar to last summer, The Dream House was not filled with middle, high, and art school students wielding paint brushes, cameras and glass mosaic tiles. A group of five youth – Dominique, Jessica, Deja, Keyani and Iman worked with Ms. K to organize fundraisers, attend special events, run scholarship workshops, and market the book in order to keep the dream alive.
Our summer was very unique this year. We split the week up by working Tuesdays and Thursdays at Camp Ebenezer, and meeting occasionally at the house. At camp, the Youth
Dreamers led leadership workshops for camp-goers split in groups by age. At the start of the summer the Youth Dreamers were very excited to finally be working with children again. Once camp started the YD’s learned the kids were enthusiastic, loved art, enjoyed talking about their futures, and really got into hands on games. Luckily the camp provided a lot of great arts and crafts materials for us to carry out lessons with. The camp was held in a church outside of our community. The five YD’s had no problem with traveling to the students, but wished the camp was at the Dream House. Working at the summer camp was a huge learning experience. Some of the things we learned were….It is easier to work with younger children when you already have a relationship with them. Different age groups makes working with children easier. Lesson plans are useful, but as a teacher you must be open to change.
Although the Youth Dreamers spent very few days at the actual Dream House, our amazing summer team accomplished ALOT! Although they were effective at starting a Give Corps campaign, it led to few responses from our awesome supporters. Artscape was amazing-like
always! We grossed over $1400 through tee shirt sales, book sales, and trinket sales. Special thanks to Ms. Pat who sold her shirts---the crowd also loved her. Not only did she share a tent with us, but she also she shared the task of selling our goodies and networking with Artscape traffic. Our biggest hit for the second summer straight was our interactive boards there. The responses we received was just as powerful as our powerful boards!
This summer, we hosted three scholarship workshops. The first one was about choosing a school, fears about school, how to perform college searches, and the difference in school types. We had a special guest from University of Baltimore, Ms. Jessica an Admission Rep, who offered numerous helpful tips. The second workshop was a service day that did not go as planned. We only had two interested students show up who helped make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Our Daily Bread. We later realized the workshop was scheduled during the Youth Works work period. We quickly changed the date of our last workshop to avoid this same problem. Our last workshop was a wrap up session and the students were given our actual application and received college application essay help.
We made time in our busy calendar to host our interesting visitors from Civic Leadership Institute. This summer we got a hugely diverse group of students that were from the class Ms. K was working with. She had already talked highly of the Youth Dreamers and they came eager to see the Dream House and meet the summer team. The Civic Leadership students were the first to write our book reviews! They also helped us do some last minute Artscape prep- they glued popsicle sticks onto our fabulous fans, helped make tee shirts, and painted our banner that hung in our tent. Having youth with so much energy back in the Dream House was a GREAT feeling!
Great news! Greetings and Readings allowed us to have our FIRST of many book signings at their store. The event was a success and we sold seven copies of the book. The Youth Dreamers are still waiting to hear from the local bookstores we reached out to about future book signings. We also held our Book Launch at the Dream House where our wonderful supporters came out for munchies, conversation and books signed by the authors.
Nothing can describe the rush of emotions felt each time a book was sold this summer! Networking was strong this summer. Conversations with those that listened seemed to be enriched with a lot of helpful information as well as ideas. During reflections of the summer, the summer team expressed how accomplished they felt getting so much done in so little time. Contributing to another community was an amazing achievement this summer. We were able to impact youth that had never heard of us. We’ve mentioned Artscape a lot already, but it was truly a good summer for us there.
Our biggest challenge yet was not being in the house for another summer, but we rocked out everything we had to accomplish. Our only pitfalls were….Attendance at our summer workshops was not how we expected. We hoped the Give Corps campaign could pay for our tent at Artscape, but we weren't able to raise much money from it.
Our work is nowhere near done, but we are using our experiences from this summer to shape future Youth Dreamer work. We still have to plan this year’s board retreat. Our summer team is preparing for successful school years. We have more scholarship shenanigans in store. Be on the look-out for future book signings and book sellings in local bookstores.
A HUGE THANK YOU TO all of those that volunteered with us at Artscape, to YouthWorks for providing us with stipends for our youth, to Ms. Pat once again, and to Mr. Jason for his financial literacy workshop.
This summer was not the easiest one we’ve ever had, but we’re happy to say that we got a ton done. We have our house, we have our book, and most important of all, we have each other. We’ll keep you posted!