Dream Academy–Quality After School in High Poverty Schools

AIM, in partnership with the Montgomery County Public School System and the Montgomery County Recreation Department, created Dream Academy (formerly known as Child First), an innovative after-school and parent-organizing program that over time will help organize and serve thousands of families in our rapidly changing-county, where 55,000 MCPS students receive subsidized meals and the school system population is now nearly 70% students of color.

Providing affordable high quality after-school enrichment programs and engaging parents in the life of the school is one of the best ways to support children and families at struggling schools. Through a sustained effort that brought together leaders of AIM congregations, principals, teachers, and Recreation staff, AIM won free, high quality after school care in two high poverty elementary schools. Dream Academy kicked off this February and will run until June, providing 240 students with after school academic enrichment, recreation time, a nutritious meal, and AIM-facilitated parent organizing and engagement.

AIM is working to Expand Dream Academy to two additional schools in the new financial year. As part of this effort, AIM gathered at the Council Budget Hearing on April 5th to push the County Council to support the expansion. South Lake Elementary School student Chilson testified about Dream Academy in front of the County Council, sharing that Dream Academy has helped him stay out of trouble in school and that “the staff and teachers at Dream Academy help me focus and calm down when I need to… the teachers at Dream Academy have helped me do better in my regular school classes.” Chilson’s mother, Adeline, also testified. She spoke of the impact Dream Academy has had on her son’s grades and behavior in school, saying “The extra hour of academic support gives my son and other students the opportunity to fully learn concepts from the normal school day…I really do appreciate his teacher and the administration for supporting my son, but Dream Academy, I mean it, is something special. The academics enrichment my son receives is very impactful… He really really loves Dream Academy so much, there is no day he doesn’t tell me he is looking forward to it.” To see a video of Chilson and Adeline’s entire testimonies, and more photos from the hearing, visit our Facebook page by clicking here.
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In the News

Dream Academy Video

See this fun and inspiring video of the Dream Academy at South Lake Elementary School!

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AIM 5k Walk to Support Dream Academy Expansion

Join us for a fun afternoon to raise money for AIM to expand the Dream Academy–affordable after school programming to Montgomery County’s highest needs schools. It’s a fun afternoon and a pretty walk along Sligo Creek with plenty of friends from AIM and our congregations and schools. Get friends, family and neighbors to sponsor you to have even more impact!

REGISTER ONLINE HERE–once you register, friends and family can sponsor you online!

Click Here for a form you can use to sign up sponsors in person

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AIM Seniors Fight for Pensions for WMATA Workers–Montgomery Sentinel

“No matter what field you’re in, an employee with a good salary [and] benefits is a better employee and able to deliver better services,” Madaleno said. “Do you want a happy, focused bus driver driving 35 people around, or do you want an unhappy, distracted bus driver?”

About 75 people, many of them seniors, attended the news conference, which was hosted by local community organization Action in Montgomery at Church of the Ascension in Gaithersburg. AIM spokesperson Cynthia Marshall said the seniors traveled from retirement communities in the county to support their local bus drivers.

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WAMU–It Takes A Village: Silver Spring Community Effort Helps Rid Apartments Of Mold

More than a year after joining forces and eliciting help from community groups and the Montgomery County Council, the mostly immigrant tenants of Northwest Park Apartments are celebrating a small victory. This summer, Kay Apartment Communities began the process of replacing all of the windows in the 75-building complex on Ames Road, a move that will hopefully eliminate the mold and mildew that has plagued the complex.

Katie Ashmore, an organizer with Action in Montgomery (AIM), who helped the tenants organize, said the $2 million project is a key step in preventing the high levels of humidity in the apartments that caused the mold to grow to return after the treatment.

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