Fulfill The Dream is a social and emotional learning curriculum that engages youth in culturally relevant ways using media, movement, and music. The program is aimed at helping youth thrive by helping them to discover their unique gifts or “sparks”, by aiding them in the development of healthy relationships with adults and peers, and supporting them in the discovery and cultivating their unique voices. The program is unique in that engages youth to use their voices to effectively mobilize various human and social capital to creatively solve community issues through civic engagement projects. This program is unique in that it is being used in classes, in after school programs, one on one, and with peer leaders to create young cultural change agents. These youth are publishing books, hosting events, leading workshops, creating town hall meetings and in doing so are flourishing socially and academically.
The Fulfill the Dream Program is a student-centered curriculum focused on engaging youth with empirically proven principles of empowerment. It is directed toward developing leadership, relationship, and citizenship skills in adolescents. While using a culturally relevant pedagogical approach this program is unique in that it encourages youth to use these skills to set goals and increase academic achievement and social responsibility. Culturally relevant pedagogy uses “the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning more relevant and effective” (Gay, 2000). This program builds cumulatively as it gives students tools to critically examine and deconstruct their realities for the purpose of discovering and cultivating assets to direct themselves and their communities toward positive change. The program is universal in that it uses culturally relevant metaphors to practically communicate its principles in a simple yet powerful way.
Students are encouraged to develop personal leadership skills as they prepare for “making dreams a reality” as they discover their resources, develop a plan, identify action steps, and reflect on their ideas of what “the good life” is. The ten workshops in this curriculum are strategically tied to youth culture because they use media, movement, and music to teach many lessons and communicate main points. For example each workshop has its unique hip-hop song, theatre games, media clips, and writing prompts that spark discussion and keep students engaged. The curriculum uses elements of Hip Hop culture because according to PBS’s documentary “Merchants of Cool” Hip Hop is the most important influence in the lives of youth growing up in the U.S. today! “Hip Hop is a very powerful educational tool; teaching has to change,” say Toni Blackman, the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassador of Hip Hop. Since there are a variety of elements and activities included with this program, it can fulfill a variety of standards from social studies and English to health, life skills, art and design, theatre, and even science. Facilitators are encouraged to keep the core principles in each lesson while adapting to meet the specific needs of their students and communities. Each workshop will take a minimum of 40 minutes, or core principles could be expanded to last as long as a month, if so desired.
Youth are required to have a culminating project at the end of the program that represents what they learned and how they will apply it. Youth are encouraged to take the resources they have identified and communicate the lessons they have learned, creatively, with their class or their community. Youth can create a poem, a rap, a song, or a collage to represent what they have learned from the program. The second part of the culminating project will include a plan regarding how they can take what they have learned and serve a person or group of people in need. Once this plan is developed they are encouraged to follow through with it, and ultimately to reflect on their service with one another.
GLO Radio provides you access with a worldwide network of artists and organizations that are working to using Hip Hop, Spoken Word, and the elements of Hip Hop Culture towards social justice, youth empowerment, and the building of consciousness. Tune into the movement of Real Hip Hop Culture, not heard on mainstream airwaves, and be prepared to be moved with the beats, lyrics, and message of embracing the beautiful struggle. The journey to living the Good Life starts here!
Nahume Diaz is a young man that transformed his life after going through the Fulfill The Dream program. He is now a community leader who works to create change by helping other youth find their voice and use them to offer solutions to community issues. We made a music video with a filmmaker from Disney to capture the change this young man is having in the world. Enjoy this song entitled "The Light"!
Created with some of the best Hiphop artists and producers in the country, this CD tells powerful stories with razor sharp lyrics that connect to the ten principles of the Fulfill The Dream curriculum. Authentic, Relevant, and Engaging, this CD is sure to get youth thinking critically and acting creatively Purchase your copy of the CD online today!