A doll, a watch, and a ball: Will these dreams come true?
More than half of children aged three to five have asked for and attained a toy or other item under the supervision of a Dream Coordinators.
Traditional babysitting relationships began during the Victorian era, in which a young woman’s immediate family stopped to assist her, or a man’s parent-in-law. The practice gained popularity in the 1930s as an evening opportunity for married women, but diminished in the 1960s, when a program designed to help children’s emotional development was instituted by the Hope of the World Children’s Home. A child’s first encounter with a Dream Coordinator is often the culmination of an object acquisition challenge, usually related to a particular subject area. For instance, a child might begin asking for a ball, action figure, toy penguin, or title, such as King Arthur, because of their enthusiasm, perseverance, or creativity.
For children who have come to Believe in Dreams waiting to become “Noble Champions,” having a Dream Coordinator (DCO) is a way to attend school and integrate into the daily environment. There are now D1, D2, and D3 programs in Brooklyn, Texas, and California. DCOs are specially trained professionals who work side-by-side with teachers and administrators to help children in kindergarten through first grade fulfill their goals.
Dream Coordinators utilize positive attitudes, and with the aid of games, music, and a portable dreamboard, offer children the opportunity to create and share their own dreams. Young people are then encouraged to practice their dreams while interacting with them (as a child flies through the air, learns to dance, or catches a ball). In the midst of the daily task of putting on shoes and putting on pants, children will see the possibility for their dreams to become a reality.
Child Development scholar Dr. Clara Barnhill Wilson suggests, “The DCO may combine practical education, activities, excitement, and art; the team may inform children of the various aspects of program promotion; the child may show interest in learning by finding it exciting to create new dreams and project them.” This socialization technique allows for significant reductions in nightmares and anxiety, and aids in the development of self-esteem.
The program offers developmental tools and coaching methods that promote a child’s growth and maturity in other areas, including schools, to increase self-confidence and independence. This program is an example of what is possible, and the cost of this program is reasonable. For a $70 application fee and an additional $125 to be used for supplies and equipment, one year’s service is provided to your child.
Distributed by the Concordia Center for Academics, Policy, and Social Change (CAPP) in association with Google’s One Give initiative, Beliefs is powered by Google. Additionally, grant funding has been provided by the State of Minnesota from its Governor’s Energy Match program, and the Child Poverty Law Center of Minnesota.