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D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators
D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators

D.R.E.A.M.S.

A Handbook for Facilitators

D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators
D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators
D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators
D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators
D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators
D.R.E.A.M.S. A Handbook for Facilitators

Table of Contents

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e

Preface Overview Getting Started

DREAMS in Action

Legend

f Strengths

g Web of Support

h Reality

i Dream Feathers

j Symbol
k Final Touches

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14

18

24

28

32

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44

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Preface

How DREAMS came to be

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Before there were DREAMS, there were MAPS.

Project Ki’L’s DREAMS process is deeply indebted to Inclusion Press’ MAPS (“Making Action Plans”), a type of person-centered planning originally developed for people with disabilities. During the MAPS process, a group of supportive adults come together with an individual to focus on them, and support them and their dreams for their future. MAPS identifies opportunities for the focus person to develop personal relationships, participate in their community, increase control over their own lives, and develop the skills and abilities they need to achieve their goals.

Almost as soon as we were introduced to MAPS, we at Project Ki’L recognized the potential impact of the process for our boys. MAPS complements multiple scales of the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), as well as the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) quadrants, and principals of culturally responsive teaching and pedagogy. One of the key aspects of MAPS is a recognition of the social reality of ignorance, prejudice, and discrimination which keeps many people from taking their rightful place in community life. For MAPS participants, this may mean disabled adults, but it also includes Alaska Native and American Indian male students. Person-centered planning asserts that this reality will only change when people and communities take action together to change it, and the MAPS process itself is put forward as a challenge to these barriers to participation. It discloses the capacities and gifts of the focus person, reflects what is important to them, now and for the future, and insists that they have real opportunities to contribute to the life of their communities (and benefit from their contributions in turn).

A Project Ki’L family after completing their DREAMS. Alaska Native and American Indian male students

A Project Ki’L family after completing their DREAMS.

Alaska Native and American Indian male students currently perform the lowest on stands based assessents out of all gender and ethnic groups in the Anchorage School District. They continue to face unique challenges that often go unrecognized, or are misunderstood by the Western education model. These include conflicting learning styles, prohibitive socioeconomic

factors, damaging prejudices, and persistant legacies of generational trauma, which obstruct parents from being strong advocates and deter students from reaching their full potential. We knew that Project Ki’L boys could unqiuely benefit from a dedicated time for their families, teachers, and other caring adults to come together and focus on him and his future. Creating goals gives our boys responsibility for their own learning, and visualizing the steps to reach them teaches that effective effort leads to achievement. We recognized that utilizing MAPS, or a similar process, could help us begin to turn around the deficiency thinking and negative trends too often associated with Alaska Native and American Indian students, one boy at a time.

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From MAPS to DREAMS

However, there were key elements that were missing from the MAPS process. MAPS are not targeted toward Alaska Native boys; they are not

clearly culturally responsive, and are not gender specific, or designed with boys in mind. We knew that with a few tweaks, we could really make the person-centered planning experience life-

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changing, and affirming, for Project Ki’L students

Our first step was to create a template for the process. Although the creators of MAPS are adamant they will not create a MAPS template, in our work with elementary-age boys, having a graphic representation on hand has proven to be an immensely useful tool for both cognitive and artistic organization. It helps the boys to visualize the process, as well as guide their goal- setting. The dreamcatcher is a highly symbolic Ojibwe design which complements the intent of the overall DREAMS process (for more information, see Overview). We also added traditional Alaska Native values as a border to the graphic to remind all present of the boy’s culture and heritage, and to encourage him to incorporate these ideals into his vision for his future. We have tailored the process itself to be particularly suited for the active learning styles of boys, and to fuse with his identity as an Alaska Native male.

So far, Project Ki’L’s team has completed over 400 DREAMS processes with our students, and the feedback from families has been overwhelming. Our own dream is that these pages will encourage you, as a facilitator or parent, to activate this process with your own student, and equip you with the tools you need to be successful.

or parent, to activate this process with your own student, and equip you with the tools

Overview

An introduction to DREAMS

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What is Project Ki’L?

Project Ki’L (Dena’ina Athabascan for boy) is a three-year demonstration grant (2011-2014) from the Alaska Native Education Equity program. We serve over 500 Alaska Native and American Indian boys in preschool through 5th grade by providing targeted cultural and social-emotional learning (SEL) services. In the Anchorage School District, and school districts across the country, Alaska Native and American Indian (AN/AI) boys score lowest on standardized tests than any other gender or ethnic group, and dropout rates are the highest. The goals of Project Ki’l are to turn around these negative trends, narrow the achievement gap, and create more culturally inclusive environments within the Anchorage School District that will equip our boys with the tools and resources they need to excel. We do this by affirming their identity through the celebration of Native values and traditions, and by supporting parents, community members, and educators as they strive to meet their unique needs.

We accomplish this through several means, including Family Nights, biweekly Club Ki’L meetings featuring Alaska Native and American Indian presenters, and professional development for school staff which encourages culturally responsive educational practices and teaching strategies. One of our most popular activities, however, continues to be our DREAMS process.

What is the purpose of DREAMS?

DREAMS are a casual conversation about a boy’s hopes, dreams and goals which involve their support network of family, friends, and teachers. It is also an artistic process, helping boys to reflect visually on what is important in their life presently, and how they can reach a desired future. By graphically mapping their expectations for themselves, each boy, and his supporters, enact a constructed and goal-oriented future, helping guide him to informed choices about how he wants to live as a contributing community member. Not only that, but we learn how Project Ki’L, the Anchorage School District, and the wider community can best assist him on his journey.

Why do we draw DREAMS instead of writing them?

Recording and sharing images uses more of our brains. When we endeavor to record the images in our words, we create a record that will let us recall some of the rich tapestry of the original experience. When we find an image that “clicks”, it is the “hot button” to the full memory, thus our recall improves dramatically. Research on “memory aids” has recommended simple “image memory hooks” for the past 2,500 years. This is especially true for boys, who tend to be more visual-spatial learners than girls.

It is important to understand that DREAMS are not about art so much as communication. We don’t think and dream in words. Our nightmares are not bound by words. Language is at best a very limited representation of the full color, surround sound images in our minds.

The DREAMS graphic

As you review the DREAMS template, you will notice that the graphic itself is in the form of a dreamcatcher. Dreamcatchers are a widely-recognized (and some would argue, commercialized) Native American symbol, but they have a very specific purpose.

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Dreamcatchers originated with the Ojibwe people. According to Ojibwe legend, Asibikaashi (Spider Woman) took care of the people of the land in the beginning. As people began to spread out, it became more difficult for her to reach all of her children. So mothers and grandmothers began to weave their children supernatural webs, using willow hoops and sinew. These webs would filter out the bad dreams and only allow good dreams and thoughts to enter their minds. This is the essence of our intention for the DREAMS process. We want to challenge deficiency thinking, and encourage boys to develop positive and vibrant goals for their futures.

You will also notice there are traditional Native values bordering the template. Throughout the DREAMS process, we want boys to be reminded of their family, heritage, and culture, and the ways in which these shape and enhance their vision of themselves and their future. These also

and culture, and the ways in which these shape and enhance their vision of themselves and
serve as wonderful tools for igniting a boy’s verbalization of his identity, his strengths, and

serve as wonderful tools for igniting a boy’s verbalization of his identity, his strengths, and his narrative trajectory.

In addition, we have integrated Project Ki’L’s superhero theme into the template. The Project K superhero incorporates elements from many different Alaska Native cultures, so that each of our boys are able to recognize a part of their own heritage in him. Our superhero imagery also encourages boys to see themselves in superhero verbiage: as strong, bold, and capable of effecting positive change in their communities.

You will see four quadrants inside the hoop, or web, of the dreamcatcher. These four quadrants each have a specific purpose,

An example of a completed DREAM.

encouraging the boy to reflect on his personal history, identity, strengths and weaknesses, obstacles in his life and how to overcome them, and most importantly, how he can enact his dreams for the future. We will look at these quadrants separately. The dreams themselves are enumerated using the feathers at the bottom of the graphic, with steps to attaining them illustrated along the strings which attach them. It is important for you to move through the DREAMS process in order.

 Legend: This is about the boy and his story.

 Strengths: These are the things the boy is really good at. All adults present should share what they believe are the boy’s skills and positive characteristics.

 Dreams: This is where the boy begins thinking about his future. For example, what he wants to be when he grows up, places he wants to visit, and how he wants to be as a man.

 Reaching Your Dreams: These are the actions that the boy needs to take in order to realize his dreams and goals.

 Web of Support: These are the people the boy can ask for help.

 Reality: This is where the boy thinks about things that may keep him from reaching his deams; things he may want to avoid.

 Symbol: A picture that represents the boy and his identity.

Your role as a DREAMS facilitator

There are two kinds of facilitators who are involved in the DREAMS process:

 The Process Facilitator engages students and participants, and looks after time and pace while assisting the boy through the steps and questions.

 The Illustrator captures the boy’s words and images on paper and offers them occasional summaries of the work, helping them to identify emergent themes that unify the process.

During the DREAMS process, both facilitators will constantly listen underneath what the boy is saying, and probe for images of his “ideal future”. Your job is to transport him out of the present and into the dream of his future.

Situations or experiences recalled during the DREAMS process may generate high emotion, and each boy needs a guide they can trust, and who can deal constructively with feelings of pain, fear, and anger. These feelings are not the goal, but as a facilitator, you must be able to encourage them to face these feelings and learn from them rather than flee from them.

As a facilitator, your job is to:

 Build a capacity view and a rich vision for the child’s future

 Challenge deficiency thinking

 Raise expectations

 Gather people who care and can act

 Listen respectfully to understand the whole child

 Search for possibilities by describing history and current realities

 Create and share vivid and powerful images of desirable futures

Getting Started

Preparing for a DREAMS Process

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Participation

First, DREAMS must be voluntary for each boy. Forcing him to participate is contrary to the purpose. The process should bring together a number of caring adults in the boy’s life, including parents, family members, teachers, or community members who play a significant role for him. As a facilitator, you will probably already know the child well enough to understand who you should invite, but if not, ask the boy about adults he respects, or with whom he spends significant time.

Try to limit the number of people you invite to three or four. Any more and the process may become too complicated.

Supplies to have on hand

DREAMS do not require any special equipment to complete, and Project Ki’L will provide you with the DREAMS template. However, there are a few things to have on hand that will make the process easier. If you need assistance in acquiring these supplies, please contact Project Ki’L. We would be happy to help!

 Water soluble colored markers (in case someone gets marker on their hands or clothes)

 Crayons - you can use these to shade after you have finished your work with markers.

 Masking tape to hold the DREAMS graphic on the wall (other kinds of tape may take part of the wall with them when you decide to take the graphic down). Remember to hang two layers of paper to avoid bleeding.

Setting the Tone

DREAMS should always be completed in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. The goal is to make everyone involved, and especially the boy, feel comfortable and safe expressing themselves. Here a few things you can do to encourage this:

 Minimize interruptions by asking everyone to turn off their cell phones.

 Make sure coffee, tea, water, juice, and/or light snacks are available.

 Attach the DREAMS template to open wall space where all involved can comfortably see it sitting in a semicircle.

 Supply comfortable seating arrangements and ensure the space is large enough for all participants.

 Set a clear time commitment of two hours, without adults running in and out of the room for phone calls or other matters. It is important for the boy to understand how much this time is valued.

General Guidelines

Finally, some guidelines to keep in mind before you embark on your first DREAMS facilitation:

 Try to complete a DREAMS process yourself before you facilitate one with a student. This will give you a clearer understanding of the process, as well as a clearer vision of your own future.

 Keepin mind that DREAMS are a graphic record. Graphics are not just add-ons, but an essential

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component. Although labeling is allowed, do not give in to the temptation to simply write things out.

 Address each section of the template in order. The experience will not be a true DREAMS process if the facilitators skip over essential components or juggle the order. The steps can have flair, zing, and be personalized, but the steps must be followed.

DREAMS in Action

How to realize your first DREAMS

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First Steps

After everyone has arrived and is comfortably seated, begin by going over the agreements. Emphasize that that this area is a safe space, and everyone shouold feel comfortable expressing themselves. Explain that you are here for the boy in question, and all adults must commit to two hours without interruption.

Then you can ask everyone to introduce themselves. Begin by asking “Who is here? How does each person relate to [boy’s name]?” Demonstrate by introducing yourself first. If you don’t know people’s names, and/or if the participants don’t know each other, ask each person to make a colorful, readable name tag for someone else in the group.

Embarking on a DREAM

Next, orient everyone to the idea that DREAMS is a process which begins with this meeting, and briefly explain the quadrants. It may be helpful to physically move people out of their seats. Ask people to close their eyes and envision their hopes and dreams for the boy present. Invite people to touch parts of the paper that represent the different topics.

As you begin to move through the quadrants and ask questions, listen for key images (theirs, not yours) in the boy’s story. Do not leap to draw too quickly. If it is a key image, it is likely worth

checking with the boy before you commit your idea to paper. Don’t get in the

checking with the boy before you commit your idea to paper. Don’t get in the way - the graphic is the key component, but it should help move things along and not be a distraction.

Begin to listen in colors. Different moods, emotions, statements can be expressed as much even better in colors than in words. For example, red and black in combination are full of energy, but are often foreboding, dark, and angry. Greens and browns will tend to be warmer, homier, down to earth, and nature. It is a very good idea to ask the boy what colors he likes - and the color of specific images when you are recording for him.

Strike a balance of checking key images. If

A Project Ki’L boy illustrating his DREAM.

you have no idea what the image looks like, ask. This is not getting in the way, it demonstrates you are listening. If you are unsure, ask if it’s okay to draw your image idea and see what works for him. Often when you present an idea, it is rejected, but it sparks them to be clearer. Get their input.

Remember to involve the boy in the process and in their graphic. Give them ownership. It is for them, not for you. Encourage him to choose key colors.

Better yet, get him to draw some of the key images - if he chooses.

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The more colorful, bright, personal, and multi- dimensional a DREAM is, the better! Add texture to the graphic. Add objects, photographs, graffiti, cut pictures from magazines, pastels, oils - there are no limits to

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making the graphic passionate, alive, and full of energy. For DREAMS to be a catalyst, they must be bold and beautiful in their process and graphic facilitation.

Thoughtful questions for process facilitators

Effective facilitation creates shared meaning. Thoughtful use of questions can help the boy and his supporters grow more clear about what they mean by important words and deepen their appreciation of what they want to create together. Asking these questions usually slows things down, allowing the group to gather and focus energy around a central issue. These questions represent different phrasings of “What does that look like?”.

To build involvement and accuracy, ask questions like:

 What color do you want that to be?

 What does that look like?

 Where (point or circle a space on the paper) do you want that image?

 What does that go next to?

 You want to see

, or

, or how would that be? For example, “You see people in a circle. Are they

Would that be

,

close together, or holding hands, or how would they be?”

 Is there any detail we could add that would make the image come alive for you?

In response to a story or the expression of a key idea or value, ask questions like:

 What is at the heart of that for you?

 What is especially important to you about that?

 What images arise from the story?

 How do we turn those words into a picture?

 What could capture that in pictures?

 How could we depict that so you will be able to remember all that it means for you?

 If you closed your eyes and imagined looking at a TV screen that could show you this happening, what would you see?

To test connections with earlier contributions and images, ask question like:

 What does that connect to? Should we draw the connection with an arrow… by putting a circle around them… by shading them the same color…

 Who else might be there with you?

 We heard you mention

several times, do you want to mention

there too?

 were important to you over here (point), does that show up here in any way? For example, “Being able to see and hear the waves was really important here. Should there be anything about waves here?”

To test and see if it is time to make a transition to the next step, ask questions like:

 If you could have one more image, what would it be?

 Look at what we’ve put here, does it capture what you mean?

 Let’s translate the images back into a summary in words. Does that say what you mean?

To bridge between a description of a desired future and a strategy for getting there, ask questions like:

 What happened to change that?

 What was your part in making that happen?

 Who helped you make that happen?

 What were your very first steps?

Encouragement for illustrators

The overwhelming majority of us drew on everything in sight when we were children. If you can put away your learned inhibitions (“I can’t do this”, “I’ll look silly/childish”, etc.) you may even discover this is fun!

Don’t worry about what others will think or how you’ve seen someone else’s graphics look. If you do your best, no one can ask for more. Don’t worry about perfection. If you capture people’s ideas and images accurately, the degree of artistic perfection is almost irrelevant.

the degree of artistic perfection is almost irrelevant. Boys working together on a DREAM project. Detailed

Boys working together on a DREAM project.

Detailed imagery can actually get in the way. If your imagery is too detailed, it can overpower

people’s memories. What we are looking for is a trigger to their memory. If your picture is too detailed or pretty, it can become the centerpiece rather than the memory trigger.

You don’t need three dimensions, perspective, or even shadows to draw powerful images that communicate clearly. Most drawing over thousands of years didn’t use perspective (think of pictographs on caves and pyramids - those drawings still tell powerful stories). You do not need to be “fancy” to be a clear communicator. For example, ground items and create boundaries with a line or two. Or create a sense of motion or action with a few little speed lines.

Lines and shapes

There are only two kinds of lines - curved and straight. There are only three basic shapes in everything that has ever been drawn: squares, triangles, and circles. All other shapes are combinations of these basic forms.

Some easy-to-draw human forms include:

 Heart people

 Ghost people

 Stick figures

 Star people:

Before you begin, it is helpful to have a wide array of empty formats in your head to help you capture and record the information carefully and efficiently. These can include:

 Agendas in a list format

 Brainstorms using lists or clusters of ideas

 Timelines or circular and spiral forms for stories

Legend

First quadrant

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What is a Legend?

The Legend is the first quadrant of the dreamcatcher on the DREAMS graphic. The goal of the Legend is to encourage the boy to explore his personal history and identity, and to verbalize his own understanding of who he is.

We chose to name this quadrant “Legend” for two reasons. In popular culture, a legend is a traditional story that tells of the way things came to be. This is what we want to capture in the Legend quadrant: the story of how the boy came to be who he is. “Legend” can also refer to an famous or notorious person. We want all of our boys to see themselves as unqiue and full of potential - the potential to be a Legend!

Some of the questions may include:

 What is your story? What are two or three stories from your life that are important to you?

 What are some things you like to do? What are sports you like to play?

 Who are the people that are important to you?

 Where do you like to go? Are there any places that are important or hold a special meaning for you?

 What food do you like to eat?

 Who are your friends? What do you do together?

Once you’ve covered the basics, you can go deeper by asking the boy about his culture and heritage, or his family’s traditions.

 Where is your family from?

 What language(s) does your family speak?

 Tell me about your heritage and culture.

 What are some of your family traditions?

The Legend builds a foundation for the rest of the DREAMS process. Family members and other present adults may have lots to contribute to this section, or be able to prompt the boy with things he hasn’t thought of.

SEL Competencies

Social Awareness Social awareness is includes the ability to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports. While completing the “Legend” quadrant of DREAMS, boys verbalize their story in terms of family, school, and community.

Relationship Skills Relationship skills include the ability to establish and maintain health and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. While completing their legend, students reflect on the relationships they have developed with those around them in their family and community.

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Alaska’s Cultural Standards

Incorporating different ways of knowing The DREAMS mapping process incorporates AN/AI cultural values both graphically and verbally during the facilitation process. DREAMS also acknowledge the traditional knowledge a student brings with them from their cultural heritage.

Apply cultural values and integrate examples and activities The facilitator invites the student

to share their own stories, and is then heard retelling them accurately.

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Strengths

Second quadrant f

What is the Strengths quadrant?

This is the second quadrant of the dreamcatcher. “Strengths” is an opportunity to enumerate the positive attributes, skills, and abilities of the student.

Explain to the boy that the Strengths section is a space for everyone to say what they think he is good at. You may want to ask him about school subjects, or ways he helps out at home and in his community where he feels particularly strong. Ask parents and family members where they see their son excelling and making a positive difference in the lives of others. Ask teachers and school staff where they see the boy making a positive contribution to his school and community.

Some of the questions may include:

 What do you think you are good at? What are sports or classes where you feel you perform well?

 What do your parents and family members say you are good at?

 What do your friends tell you you are good at?

 In what subjects do your teachers praise you often?

It is important to also focus on aspects of the student’s culture where he particularly excels. Try to incorporate Native values as much as possible when completing the Strengths section of the graphic. Make sure everyone participating in the process is able to share what they believe are

some of the boy’s best qualities.

SEL Competencies

Self-awareness Self-awareness includes the ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations while possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism. While commpleting the “Strengths” quadrant, the boy enumerates his own positive attributes, including academic achievements, cultural heritage, and indigenous values he exemplifies.

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Alaska’s Cultural Standards

Recognizing the full potential of each student Once the stakeholders in the mapping process recognize where the student is strong, they are able to challenge them to make the most of their talents and skills.

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Web of Support

Third quadrant

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What is a Web of Support?

The “Web of Support” quadrant allows boys and their supporters to verbalize where they can go for support. It is imperative that the boy understands there are people in his life who care about him, and are ready and able to help them in their pursuit of their dreams. While completing this quadrant, the boy should be reminded that it is normal to ask for help, even as he matures. Family, friends, school staff are usually listed here, but community members and organizations may also be included.

Some of the questions may include:

 Who are people you trust and can ask for help?

 What has to be in place for the people here to support your dream?

 Who are people that support you and want you to do your best?

Because we want our boys to dream big, we also need them to know that there is a network of people who can help him achieve his goals for himself. Even as adults our dreams can sometimes be overwhelming or scary if what we want to achieve is out of our comfort zone.

SEL Competencies

Social Awareness Social awareness is includes the ability to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports. The “Web of Support” quadrant helps boys visualize where they can go for support, including supportive adults in their family, school, and community.

Relationship Skills Relationship skills include the ability to establish and maintain health and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. While completing their Web of Supprt, students reflect on the relationships they have developed with those around them in their family and community.

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Reality

Fourth quadrant h

What is Reality?

The fourth quadrant is the boy’s Reality. This is where you will encourage him to think about the things that could potentially keep him from reaching his dream. Depending on the boy’s age and self-awareness level, this quadrant is often the hardest for students to process, so refer to a student’s dreams for themselves and the ways they are going to reach those dreams.

Some of the questions may include:

 What are some things that could get in the way of you (being a soldier, traveling to Africa, designing a skyscraper, etc.)?

 What are the things that might be bad for your mind or body, that would make it harder for you to reach your dreams?

 What are some unhealthy habits that might get in the way of your dreams?

Don’t just focus on stumbling blocks, however. The goal of the DREAMS process is to challenge deficiency thinking, not reinforce it! The Reality quadrant can also a space to highlight some of the boy’s opportunities for growth and development. These can be both general and specific. For example, “I will watch less TV”, or “I will study harder in math”. Encourage the boy to reflect and verbalize his own goals.

SEL Competencies

Relationship Skills Relationship skills include the ability to establish and maintain health and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. While completing the “Reality” quadrant students learn to resist inappropriate social pressure, a prevalent stumbling block for students in the Project Ki’L age range.

Responsible Decision-making Responsible decision-making is the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaulation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others. While completing the “Reality” quadrant, boys examine obstacles in their life and strategize ways to overcome them, making constructive choices about their personal behavior and social interactions

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Dream Feathers

Dream big!

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What are Dream Feathers?

“Dream Feathers” are where the boy begins to think about his future, major goals like what he wants to be when he grows up, places he wants to visit, things he wants to achieve as a man. The boy may choose a dream to be represented by each feather. Ideally, he should be guided towards goals which result in high school graduation, college, a career or trade.

Some of the questions may include:

 What do you want to be when you grow up?

Some students may find it difficult to envision a future this far in advance. As a first step, it may be easier to encourage the boy to think about the jobs his family or community members hold and he may be interested in.

 What places would you like to visit?

If this is a difficult question, ask the boy to reflect on a place they’ve seen on TV, or studied in a class that has piqued their interest.

The space around each of the feathers (the string leading from the feathers to the rest of the dreamcatcher) is used to document specific steps that the student can go through to reach his

dream.

Begin with the first dream the student identified. Ask him about the things he would need to do in order to reach this specific dream, or what needs to be in place for his dream to come true. For example, you may prompt him about who will pay for the trip they want to take. This would in turn lead to the step of finding a job and earning enough money. Or ask what they need to achieve before they can enroll in college (e.g., graduate from high school). Continue with the second and third dreams in the same manner.

SEL Competencies

Self-management Self-management is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals. The feathers of the DREAMS graphic represent dreams or goals which the boy has for himself, and the ties leading from the dreamcatcher to the feathers represent a space for the boy to visualize how he will achieve them.

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Alaska’s Cultural Standards

Recognizing the full potential of each student Encouraging students to verbalize their dreams for themselves and helping them to think constructively about the steps needed to achieve them not only recognizes the full potential of each student, but challenges them to achieve that potential.

Work closely with parents to achieve complementary educational expectations While this describes the entire DREAMS process, Dream Feathers in particular are a

wonderful opportunity to align educator and family expectations for the

boy and his future goals

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Symbol

Dream big!

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What are Dream Feathers?

The Symbol is an opportunity for the boy to reflect on his best characteristic. It may be helpful to explain the symbol using the imagery of Superhero logos. Drawing from the Strengths quadrant of the graphic, ask the boy to think about his favorite color, shape, animal, or activity. When he thinks about himself, what comes to mind?

Younger students may have a difficult time conceptualizing this. You can use the Project Ki’L logo at the bottom of the DREAMS graphic to help guide them to the understanding that symbols can represent an organization, business, or person. Explain to the boy that the symbol represents them in such a way that if we were to see the symbol somewhere outside, we would immediately know it was referring to them.

Some of the questions may include:

 If you could be a superhero, what symbol or picture would you have on the front of your costume? (E.g., spider for Spiderman, bat for Batman).

 What symbol or picture best describes you?

Try to focus the symbol on something representative of the boy’s personality trait. For example, a bear for courage, or an eagle for leadership.

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Final Touches

Making DREAMS Come True

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When the DREAMS process is complete

Once the exploration phase finishes and promising directions emerge, raising the question of action raises the odds that something good will happen. These questions are all variations of, “So, what are you going to do next?”

Some of the questions you may ask the boy include:

 When will you do that for the first time?

 What’s the very first step?

 Who is going to help you do that?

 When are you going to ask them for help?

 What words are you going to say to ask for help?

 Will you have to stop doing anything in order to make that happen?

Some of the questions you may ask the group include:

 What could you to tomorrow?

 What actions or agreements can we make? Who will agree to do that, by when in order to strengthen the child’s dream?

 What is the next step? What will we do within 24 hours?

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