Why not spread Christmas cheer and show appreciation to those who keep us safe all year long? Our talented group of Girls With DREAMS from Assumption Center did just that when they visited the firefighters of the Park Avenue, Worcester Fire Station to sing some Christmas carols and bring them some coffee and cake. No bells went off and no fire alarms were rung, but a lot of good cheer and happy music were shared.
Girls with DREAMS, a program initiated in Spring 2009, is organized by the Assumption Center for girls aged 10 to 14. It was developed in response to a community need for enrichment activities for middle school girls. Twenty girls from the surrounding neighborhoods, Main South and Lakeside Apartments, were personally invited and have consistently participated in the program. The afterschool program meets once weekly during the school year and engages girls in activities which address the issues facing youth in urban poverty. It provides the girls with a stimulating and safe environment to partake in constructive activities.
An acronym standing for Determination, Respect, Energy, Action, Motivation, and Spirit, "Girls with DREAMS" is designed to inspire each girl to be aware of their talents, potential, and power. The Assumption Center staff and volunteers present programming that helps girls to learn useful skills and broaden their perspectives through new experiences. The most basic premise is to allow girls to share time together, work on fun projects, and develop their sense of self all within a positive atmosphere. Each afternoon is structured with time for creative arts/projects and time for discussing values and life skills. Projects have included baking, recreational games, gardening, crafts, dance, innovative theatre, and many other skill orientated activities. Specific life skills that are addressed have included positive communication, conflict resolution at home and school, self-esteem, proper nutrition, team work, financial literacy, self-reflection, and peer relations. Guest presenters are routinely invited to share their knowledge and experience with the girls. Previous presenters have included youth social workers, United Way Dollar Divas, dance instructors, and influential college women.