Big Brothers and Big Sisters Chess Mentorship Program
The Beyond the Dream Foundation and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dutchess County have joined together to help contribute to the support of mentoring the youth of the area. Under the guise of playing chess, these two organizations have collaborated in helping to expound upon the youths’ cognitive development through the exploration of playing games. Chess strategy consists of setting and achieving long-term goals during the game — for example; where to place different pieces — while tactics concentrate on immediate maneuver. These two parts of chess thinking cannot be completely separated, because strategic goals are mostly achieved by the means of tactics, while the tactical opportunities are based on the previous strategy of play. Beyond the Dream Foundation and BBBS are taking these same strategies of setting and achieving long-term goals by helping to prepare the youth.
The Beyond the Dream Foundation Enrichment Program is designed to offer students in grades 2-5 the opportunity to pursue academic work outside of the traditional school setting at a more intense and accelerated pace in order to expand their comprehension in the areas of math and reading. The program also provides an environment in which students may receive social, emotional, and academic support while constructively interacting with other students. The curriculum offered in the enrichment classes aligns with local and state standards while including materials at and above primary school grade levels. The instructors, volunteers, are responsible for creating individual and group lesson plans, assessing the students, and assigning homework to be completed outside the program hours when necessary.
In addition to expanding each student’s academic growth, another important feature of the program is exposing the students’ to various career possibilities through class discussions, field trips, and other activities that encourage students to begin establishing the self-confidence, work habits, and social skills conducive to long-term academic success. It is well documented that the support networks established during the early years of a child’s development are particularly important in helping a student to maintain academic interest and constructive friendships with other academically advanced students. This program is constantly being reviewed for enhancement in order to stay a step ahead of the ever-changing challenges that our young people face.
The Liberty Partnership Program (LPP) is a program funded by the New York State Education Department. The Liberty Partnership Program of Newburgh partners with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, community organizations, businesses, and parents to help students graduate from high school and go on to higher education or meaningful employment. LPP of Newburgh offers public school students in grades 6-12 assistance by addressing two main goals:
- Identifying students who are at risk of dropping out of school
- Providing those students with services to improve their ability to complete high school, advance to post secondary education, and carry on to the workforce.
Since 2008, the Beyond the Dream Foundation was able to conduct a series of workshops designed to assist students in their preparation for post high school education. The workshops helped dispel any fears or myths about college in an effort of making them aware that going to college is obtainable. The workshops also instructed the students on how to carefully select a college that best suits their career aspirations and lifestyles. During the workshops, the students were given the opportunities to ask questions about the planning process for college, as well as inquire about campus life.
The Beyond the Dream Foundation has been a symbol of hope and compassion in the city of Poughkeepsie, New York. Housed in the landmark church of Beulah Baptist Church, the soup kitchen serves a large number of the natives a hot nutritious meal as well as donate lots of clothing items. Anyone who comes to the door is welcome—without question or qualification.
The purpose of the soup kitchen was designed in an effort of recognizing and addressing the vital importance of providing basic nourishment to those who are hungry. Together with the solidarity and commitment of our members and those of the local churches and soup kitchens, we strive to be a gateway for positive change in the lives of the people we serve.
Each year the Foundation and the Poughkeepsie Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., participates in the Angel Tree Christmas program to provide a positive impact on the lives of young people in the Hudson Valley who have parents housed in state or federal correctional facilities. Through the Angel Tree Ministries, the Beyond the Dream Foundation is able to work with a local church to enable prison inmates to provide gifts for their children.
Members of the Foundation pledge their time and money to purchase gifts based on the requests submitted by the inmates. The gifts are distributed to the kids during a Christmas celebration hosted by the partnering Church. Gifts include clothes, games, educational toys, and bare necessities. Over the past several years, the Foundation has committed to purchasing over 100 gifts for children who have parents who participating in the Angel Tree Ministry.