On December 8th, many of our Salvation Army Barton Center and Julian Center students and their families were treated to a night of games, activities, food, gifts and even face painting at the Colts Training Complex on Indy’s North West side. DREAM Alive, an organization that was started in 2001 by Tarik Glenn and his wife Maya, threw this amazing party. DREAM Alive, which stands for Discipline, Responsibility, Education, Achievement, and Motivation, has a goal of inspiring underserved youth and their families to pursue their dreams. Throughout the school year we have had DREAM scholars – middle and high school students involved in DREAM Alive – come to Barton Center to work with our students there. Our students always enjoy the visits from their DREAM scholars.
The DREAM Alive Christmas Celebration is an annual opportunity for DREAM Alive scholars to give back to the community. Each year, DREAM Alive works with local organizations to choose families to assist during the Christmas season. DREAM Alive scholars are each matched with a student, who they purchase gifts for and then are able to meet during the event itself.
Before heading out to the complex for this year’s Christmas Celebration, Barton Center residents were treated to a Christmas dinner, donated by City Barbeque followed by dessert provided by board member Carol Chambers. The residents enjoyed this tasty and festive meal as they prepared to head out to the big DREAM Alive event.
Once the students arrived at the complex they were paired up with their DREAM scholars who walked around with them throughout the evening. There were many fun activities for students and their scholars to participate in, including balloon twisting, a Secret Santa Shop where students could choose gifts to give their parents on Christmas Day, a spot for family photos and a fun photo booth, the Play 60 football toss and a craft table.
Colts tight end and Player Executive of DREAM Alive, Dwayne Allen, joined the kids on the field. Allen, who spoke at last year’s School on Wheels’ Education Celebration, looked like he was having a blast running around and chatting with many of the students. Based on the speech he gave at last year’s Education Celebration, it is obvious he knows how important a mentor or role model can be.
The night ended with lots of happy kids carrying a bag full of gifts, balloon animals and donated Chic-fil-A boxed dinners onto the bus and back home to Barton and Julian.
DREAM Alive is an event our kids always look forward to each year. School on Wheels is so grateful for DREAM Alive and their scholars for inviting us to their event and working throughout the school year with many of our students!
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