Building on our past successes with Dreamer Classes –  including doubling or better high school graduation

rates for our student Dreamers – we have adopted the Dreamer School model to expand our impact each year. Working with over 60 program partners, we plan to maximize access to services and decrease barriers for Dreamers in the program.

In July 2010, we selected Alder Elementary on the eastern edge of the City of Portland as our first

Dreamer School, acting essentially as a pilot project location for our new program model.  Alder has one of the highest poverty rates in the state, with 94% of students eligible for free/reduced lunch and 12.8% of students experiencing homelessness.

Because of these barriers to education, Alder Elementary proves to be a perfect site for the first Dreamer School in the nation.

Dreamer School goals are consistent with “I Have a Dream” Oregon’s long-term mission of helping low-income children achieve academic success in school, college and career.

partners for web copy


Our immediate goals for our Dreamers at Alder are focused clearly on academic achievement:

–                80% of Alder students will finish a post-secondary degree or certificate;

–                50% of Alder students will “exceed” and 90% “meet” expectations on 3rd, 5th and 8th grade statewide benchmark tests.

We also know that, in order to accomplish these goals, we must establish Alder as a different kind of school – one that significantly decreases student/family transience and that serves as a hub for community services and stability.

We will accomplish these ambitious goals by:

Alder Where College Begins

1)            Delivering our proven combination of three core services:  long-term relationship with caring adults, academic and personal/social support services, and creating a “culture of college” within the school and within families.

2)            Attending to the entire birth-through-college-completion continuum, using the research-based STRIVE model to guide our efforts.


3)            Greatly expanding collaboration with other education and nonprofit partners, including a comprehensive Dreamer School planning process

(see Planning Committee Schematic below).

Join the effort!  Make a gift to “I Have a Dream” Oregon or fill out a volunteer application to become a mentor or volunteer in the Dreamer School Program.


Dreamer School Resources

Dreamer School Planning Committee (leadership schematic)