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Students at Dunnville Secondary School loitered outside of the front of the school with their bikes, skateboards and even a unicycle, but what were they waiting for? They were waiting for 3:30, when a crowd of cyclist descended onto the school front and met before departing on their Critical Mass Bike Ride, which was organized by the students of the DREAM Program.
Facilitator and mentor to the students Dr. Reza Kazemi arrived on a double bike, inviting a student without a bike to jump on. “How many people care about the issues we discuss, but do not participate?” said Dr. Kazemi. “It is a reflection of our society which has become disjointed. We are on the wrong path, and the kids are going to suffer.”Dr. Kazemi founded the DREAM Program in 2004, which embraces the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Those that facilitate and work as mentors for the students of the DREAM Program believe “the key to creating an equitable and stable world, begins at home, in our community, with each individual being empowered by education to reach their own academic potential and to become a more socially aware and civically responsible member of our global world.” The program is a 4-year mentorship program available to students of Dunnville Secondary School. The program offers financial social and academic support to the eligible students who participate. However DREAM does much more for the rest of the community.
Raising Awareness Dream’s Film and Speaker Series is almost finished it’s season for the year with one final event on May 27th – Free the Children Guest Speaker: Me to We, the Generation We’ve Been Waiting For at Dunnville Secondary School. The event is open to anyone who is interested in attending and tickets can be purchased at the door. Another way the students of the DREAM Program learn while helping their community is through Social Action Groups. Students are asked to choose a group to be involved with choices include: Homelessness and Poverty group which works with the Shared Harvest Community Farm, and the Salvation Army Soup Truck; Preserving our Planet group which organizes & oversees the DREAM Grade 8 Environment Contest, develops & implements environmental projects in Dunnville, and Theatre of Tomorrow group which creates a play dealing with relevant social issues.
The plays are written, directed and performed by the students at no financial cost and is performed in February of each year. Each student also has the opportunity to participate in the Global Literacy Project which not only hosts the Raising Awareness Series but also allows the students to visit a Mexican City on March break to learn about global issues. LW