Over the past 24 years, DreamYard has served as a trusted partner of Bronx-based public schools in educating and empowering young people through the arts. Recently, we've had the opportunity to deepen our partnerships by expanding our In School Program offerings to now include Comprehensive After School System of NYC Programs (COMPASS) — which provide students with academic support, leadership development, arts and social justice programming, and sports and recreation.
As part of the 2014 City-funded initiative, School's Out NYC (SONYC), DreamYard has partnered with M.S. 390 in Morris Heights, where we engage with 120 students for 3 hours each day, 5 days per week. We lead activities centered on social justice pedagogy to allow young people to connect with their histories and cultures, which have often been erased and appropriated in our country. Through professional development in social justice pedagogy, our staff actively cultivates "a safe environment where [students] can be themselves, find their voices, develop their inner-spark and personality," as recognized by Mrs. Guillermina Ceballos, Social Worker and SONYC Educational Specialist at M.S. 390.
The SONYC program at MS 390 was originally slated to end in June 2017, but based on the success of the program, we are excited to have funding for the program through June 2020. Furthermore, we are excited to leverage this impactful COMPASS model to longtime DreamYard partner, P.S. 32; as a trusted partner of the Empire State After School initiative, we look forward to empowering another group of 120 young people for the next five years – 3 hours each day, 5 days per week.