Dream On Education

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  • Investment to Date $100K
  • Students Served 118
  • Grantee Since 2022
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Dream On Education provides enrichment programming for low-income, high-achieving middle school students by partnering with elementary schools located on the South Side of Chicago. Through weekly in-school programming and monthly cultural and career focused field trips, the organization offers SEL and Common Core Standards aligned lessons aimed at improving academic and SEL outcomes of middle school youth and preparing them for the challenging transition into high school.

Grantee Performance

On an assessment focused on five key SEL areas (self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management, and relationship skills), 81% of students grew by +10% across SEL competencies through middle- and post- program assessment in school year 2022-2023. Additionally, 85% of program participants achieved at least 85% program attendance for the year and 92% of program participants achieved at least an 85% school attendance rate. Of the 53 students served, 80% of 8th grade participants achieved a 3.1 GPA or higher, exceeding the 75% milestone.


Why We Invested

Dream On Education offers a novel approach to preparing low-income middle school youth for success in high school and beyond. The model possesses experiential learning and a scholastic curriculum aligned to Common Core Standards that supports the development of education focused skills such as public speaking, literacy and language development, and goal setting. Over the past three years, DOE’s participants have seen meaningful academic and attendance gains in both middle school and in the transition to high school. DOE’s Founder and Executive Director, Kelli Haywood, aims to magnify these results by more intentionally aligning its curriculum to CASEL’s social emotional learning framework. The organization’s compelling early results, cost efficient model, scale potential, and dedicated leader provide strong reason to believe in its future potential for impact.

Looking Ahead

In the 2022-2023 school year Dream On served 53 students across two schools.  In the 2023-2024 school year, Dream On Education projects serving 80 students across three schools.