Bending the Arc: DREAM’s 2024-2028 Strategic Plan

by | May 22, 2024 | 0 comments

Five years ago, DREAM made a big bet—that greater investment in extended-day, extended-year, whole-child instruction would further transform the life trajectories of our students. So we integrated high-quality education with award-winning afterschool and summer learning programs to deliver our Grow the Whole Child model.

That commitment has resulted in outcomes across the PK-12 continuum that outpace the majority of DREAM’s public school district and charter school peers. With student achievement accelerating and high school graduation and college acceptance rates at 100%, DREAM has mitigated the effects of Covid learning loss. This data tells us we made the right move. DREAM’s approach is working.

DREAM’s growth over the next five years will be oriented toward excellence and sustainability in supporting long-term outcomes for youth—building toward a just future in which every child can influence and lead generational change, bending the arc toward equity.

But it’s not enough. Over the past quarter century, high-performing charter schools have made significant progress in closing the K-12 achievement gap. Despite that, average college persistence and bachelor’s completion rates for charter school graduates—including DREAM—remain significantly lower than those of affluent peers. Wide disparities persist in long-term earnings for these young people, with the average salary for our alumni at age 25 falling below a New York City living wage. So while DREAM students are closing the achievement gap by 12th grade, they are not keeping pace with their more affluent peers after college and into adulthood.

DREAM’s 2024-2028 Strategic Plan is our blueprint for realizing the long-term potential of the children we serve and the communities where we work. It will mean an even deeper investment in people and places—starting in early childhood and continuing through early adulthood—to ensure that the gains our students make in school endure as they move on to college and into fulfilling careers. These investments will compound over time to give our alumni the skills, opportunities, and access they need to reach their fullest potential.

DREAM’s growth over the next five years will be oriented toward excellence and sustainability in supporting long-term outcomes for youth—building toward a just future in which every child can influence and lead generational change, bending the arc toward equity.

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<a href="https://blog.wearedream.org/author/liz_white/" target="_self">DREAM</a>

DREAM

DREAM started in 1991 as Harlem RBI, a volunteer-run Little League for 75 kids in East Harlem. Three decades later, the organization serves 2,500 youth across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a growing network of inclusive, extended-day, extended-year charter schools and community sports-based youth development programs. By developing an education model that is responsive to the unique academic and social needs of every child, DREAM is creating a future where all children are equipped to fulfill their vision of success.

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